Leading Renewable Players Urge Governments to Re-align Recovery Measures with Paris Agreement
Dec 2020 - With the Paris Agreement celebrating its fifth anniversary this month, all eyes are on the world’s governments to urgently scale-up climate action.
In a renewed call to action, over 100 leading renewable energy players, as members of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Coalition for Action, urge governments to correct course. By placing a renewables-based energy transition at the heart of an economic recovery from COVID-19, governments can foster economic resilience and secure a climate-safe future.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, governments have demonstrated their capacity to mobilise efforts and recovery packages at historically unprecedented levels. While some countries have announced more ambitious climate commitments as part of their measures to achieve sustainable and resilient economies post-COVID-19, many others have yet to take decisive actions to move towards a green recovery.
To date, G20 countries have committed at least USD 233 billion in supporting the fossil fuel sector and fossil fuel-dependent industries. These billions represent a missed opportunity to accelerate the energy transition and to power long-term job creation and investment opportunities at a time when we need them most. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s post-COVID-19 recovery agenda shows that investments strategically targeted at renewables can put the world on a climate safe path and generate wider socio-economic benefits. Every million dollars (USD) invested in renewables would create three times more jobs than in fossil fuels.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had tragic consequences on families and loved ones around the world. The impacts of the pandemic have been even worsened by severe economic downturns impacting communities and regions everywhere. The International Solar Energy Society sends out its deepest condolences to all of our friends impacted by COVID-19, and urges governments seeking to stimulate economies impacted by the pandemic to take strong actions that ensure an urgent transition to clean energy technologies. It is essential that stimulus packages focus not only on economic recovery but also as an opportunity to accelerate our efforts to tackle climate change and provide a healthier environment for all” says ISES Immediate Past President Dave Renné.
And Monica Oliphant, ISES Past President adds: “Coincidentally, just prior to the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Agreement on the 7th December, ISES held a virtual conference SWC50 – The Century of Solar. The Conference looked back at the past 50 years since the first ISES Conference in 1970 and then looked forward to the next 50 years when solar and wind will be major contributors to a more climate safe world. The fact that the conference was virtual highlighted the impact that COVID-19 is having globally. In addition, note was taken that governments have demonstrated their capacity to mobilize efforts and recovery packages at historically unprecedented levels. The conference sessions addressed important aspects of the energy transformation: the history of solar and futures, technology innovations, transforming the energy sector, transforming the heating and cooling sector, and critical roles of public support, policy developments and financial markets in accelerating the transformation. The conference celebrated the evolution of renewables, and looked toward innovations technology, finance, policy and society that will help achieve the transformation goals.”
With this, the conference once again highlighted the highly valuable impact of renewable energy, which now once again is being re-enforced by the Coalition for Action Call for Action.
Building on its previous call to action released in April 2020, the Coalition for Action now urges governments to reset their recovery priorities through the following six actions:
Re-evaluate stimulus measures and correct course to ensure a green recovery in line with global climate objectives.
Raise policy ambitions and clarify long-term plans for renewable generation and consumption, both centralised and decentralised.
Ensure energy markets can deliver continuity and stimulate investment and growth in renewables.
Prioritise renewable energy as a key component of industrial policies.
Align labour and education policies with a just energy transition.
Intensify international co-operation and action on COVID-19 while recognising renewable energy as a key part of the solution.
Through these six actions, governments can align their economic recovery from COVID-19 with their climate plans, deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement, and come back stronger than ever from the COVID-19 crisis. Now is the time to use the momentum of a green recovery to continue building broad public support for the transformative decarbonisation of societies and pave the way for equitable, inclusive and resilient economies.
For a more detailed view of the IRENA Coalition for Action's renewed Call for Action, please click here.
About the Coalition
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.