Renewable energy players urge governments to align recovery measures with Paris Agreement
With the Paris Agreement celebrating its fifth anniversary this week, all eyes are on the world’s governments to urgently scale-up climate action. Six months after calling for action in response to COVID-19, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Coalition for Action urges governments worldwide to step up their efforts towards a green recovery.
Eight months after calling for action in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the IRENA Coalition for Action with over 100 leading renewable energy players has renewed their call to action urging governments worldwide to step up their efforts towards a green recovery.
While some countries have put forward measures to support renewables and even announced more ambitious climate commitments, many others have yet to take decisive action to move towards a green post-COVID recovery. The unprecedented financial stimulus packages put forward today will steer economies and societies for decades to come.
Billions in unconditional fossil fuel support
To date, G20 countries have committed at least US$233 billion in supporting the fossil fuel sector and fossil fuel-dependent industries, mostly without conditions to improve environmental sustainability.
By redirecting investments towards renewables, energy efficiency, and other enabling technologies and infrastructure, governments can generate immediate GDP and employment gains and set the course for a climate-safe economic recovery in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The renewables sector has demonstrated it can rapidly roll out clean, uninterrupted, cost-effective energy services, including for remote and vulnerable communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, renewables have shown greater resilience than other energy sectors and have thus far continued growth in terms of power generation capacity.
Governments worldwide are mobilising resources to fight the coronavirus, protect livelihoods, and keep economies afloat. As they turn their attention towards longer-term recovery strategies, they must continuously reassess whether their stimulus measures are fit for purpose.
Any slowdown in investment or a lack of ambition to increase investment, in renewable energy will leave the world dependent on fossil fuels, at a time when what is needed is a significant acceleration of the energy transition.
Call for six actions
In a renewed call to action, members of the IRENA Coalition for Action, urge governments to correct course and reset their recovery priorities through six concrete actions. By placing a renewables-based energy transition at the heart of economic recovery from COVID-19, governments can bring economic resilience and secure a climate-safe future.
Coalition members urge governments to deliver on 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.