IRENA Coalition for Action - COVID-19 Response

28. April 2020

ISES supports the IRENA Coalition for Action call to action in response to COVID-19

ISES, as member of the IRENA Coalition for Action supports the Call for Action in response to COVID-19 issued on 28 April 2020. The joint statement focusses on actions governments can take to ensure economic recovery from COVID-19 aligns with global climate and sustainability goals.

Joint Call for Action on COVID-19

Renewable energy solutions provide clean, reliable, easy to mobilise, and cost-effective energy for essential services – making them crucial in the initial response to COVID-19.  The Coalition urges governments to immediately:

  • Revisit deadlines for renewable energy projects with contractual obligations for near-term delivery.  Allowing delayed projects to be built under original terms and frameworks mitigates the impact of labour force and global supply chain challenges.
  • Designate the renewable energy industry and related infrastructure as a critical and essential sector.  This ensures industrial activity along the full renewable energy supply chain continues so that essential services remain fully operational.
  • Affirm and extend policies promoting renewable energy solutions, both centralised and decentralised.  Long-term policy certainty helps the renewable energy plan ahead and protect its workforce. Permitting and siting approvals should also be fast-tracked so that planned projects can go ahead.

 

Renewable energy can support rapid and sustainable economic recovery by creating jobs and ensuring energy security, while safeguarding peoples’ health and welfare.  As governments develop economic recovery strategies, the Coalition urges governments to:

  • Prioritise renewable energy in stimulus measures and commit to phasing out support for fossil fuels.  Stimulus packages for any sector should include conditions to reduce climate emissions and accelerate the energy transition.  Fossil fuel subsidies should be steered towards investments in low-carbon infrastructure and research and innovation to support higher shares of renewables in all end-uses.
  • Provide financial support to safeguard the renewable energy industry and mobilise private investment. Examples of financial supports include credit and credit guarantees, or special relief funds for fragile industries like SMEs.  Governments and financial institutions can broadly steer energy investments towards renewables by establishing a “no-harm” principle for lending recipients.
  • Enhance the role of renewable energy in industrial policies. To maximise the socio-economic benefits of renewables, governments must leverage existing economic activities and local capabilities. Governments can also support enabling industries (e.g. green hydrogen, storage and digital solutions). 
  • Revise labour and education policies to help workers make the shift into renewable energy jobs.  Governments should invest in programmes to equip their societies with knowledge and skills that are needed in the clean, low-carbon economy.
  • Strengthen international cooperation and action to accelerate renewable energy deployment.  Collaboration between governments and amongst the international community is needed to devise action plans for developing countries, who may be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  These plans should also be backed by appropriate funding.

About the IRENA Coalition for Action

About the IRENA Coalition for Action

The IRENA Coalition for Action brings together leading renewable energy players from around the world with the common goal of advancing the uptake of renewable energy. The Coalition facilitates global dialogues between public and private sectors to develop actions to increase the share of renewables in the global energy mix and accelerate the global energy transition. IRENA acts as the Secretariat of the Coalition.