1-Gigaton Coalition Report Highlights Potential of Renewable Energy to Contribute to Multiple SDGs in Developing Countries
UN Photo/Mark Garten
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The 1 Gigaton Coalition released its third report titled 'Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Developing Countries: Contributions to Reducing Global Emissions'.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing countries currently receiving international support could reduce global emissions by 0.6 GT in 2020.

With scaled-up support, mitigation could more than double to 1.4 GT annually.

31 October 2017: Developing countries can benefit in multiple ways from energy efficiency and a shift towards renewable energy, including positive impacts on the environment, public health and economic growth, in addition to making a substantial contribution towards filling the emissions gap of current mitigation commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

This is the main finding of the report titled, ‘Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Developing Countries: Contributions to Reducing Global Emissions,’ released by the 1 Gigaton Coalition. The report was released in conjunction with UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report on the eve of the Bonn Climate Change Conference (also known as COP 23), which found that current pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement on climate change only cover one third of the emissions required to keep the rise of global temperature to well below 2°C. It assesses the mitigation potential of internationally supported projects in energy efficiency and renewable energies in developing countries.

The analysis finds that projects implemented between 2005 and 2016 are currently reducing global emissions by 0.258 gigatons (GT) of CO2eq. The study projects that, if all projects currently receiving support are implemented as planned, mitigation will increase to 0.6 GT by 2020. It further estimates that, with scaled-up financing for additional projects, this number could increase to 1.4 GT annually.

Internationally-supported renewable energy and efficiency projects in developing countries are vital for decarbonizing the global economy.

Next to mitigating climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing countries would also make substantial contributions to improving the environment and public health and supporting economic growth, the report finds. In several case-studies, the report shows how projects contribute to achieving multiple sustainable development goals (SDGs), including SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG 13 (Climate action), and SDG 15 (Life on land).

The publication’s key findings include that: internationally-supported renewable energy and efficiency projects in developing countries are vital for decarbonizing the global economy; evaluating the impact of such projects is important to link projects and policies with long-term objectives, but complicated by a lack of data and information sharing; and non-state actors are taking leadership scaling up climate action.

Established in 2014 under the leadership of UN Environment and the Norwegian Government, the 1 Gigaton Coalition “aims to measure and report reductions of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives and programmes that are not accounted for in the Emissions Gap Report, which are estimated to be 1 GT of CO2eq by 2020.” [1 Gigaton Coalition Press Release][Publication: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Developing Countries: Contributions to Reducing Global Emissions]

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