IRENA Report Examines Renewable Energy’s Role in Curbing Climate Change
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According to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), doubling the share of renewable energy in the world's energy mix by 2030 could result in half the emissions reductions needed to stay within the below 2°C warming goal.

The report, titled 'REthinking Energy 2015,' adds that energy efficiency could supply the remaining emissions cuts necessary.

IRENA23 November 2015: According to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), doubling the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030 could result in half the emissions reductions needed to stay within the below 2°C warming goal. The report, titled ‘REthinking Energy 2015,’ adds that energy efficiency could supply the remaining emissions cuts necessary.

Released ahead of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC where a global climate change agreement is expected to be concluded in Paris, France, in December 2015, the report highlights that renewable energy is at the core of countries’ ability to meet climate targets, as well as spur economic growth, boost employment and support sustainable development. The report notes that if environmental and health externalities are taken into account and priced, a renewable energy transition would ultimately result in net savings.

The report authors stress that renewables’ share must grow not only in the electricity sector but also in transport, heating and cooling. According to the report, in 2010 the share of renewable sources in total final energy consumption (TFEC) was 18%. Doubling that share to 36% by 2030 must be combined with “significant improvements in end-use energy efficiency” to limit global average temperature increase to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

A chapter on global investment needs in the report includes a section on investment strategies for the power sector, offering strategies for the planning, construction and operation phases of renewable energy projects. The report concludes with five key actions that governments can take to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy: strengthen the policy commitment to renewable energy; mobilize investments in renewable energy; build institutional, technical and human capacity to support renewable energy deployment; harness the cross-cutting impact of renewable energy on sustainable development; and enhance regional engagement and international cooperation on renewable energy development. [IRENA Publication Webpage] [Publication: REthinking Energy 2015]


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