With the Paris Agreement celebrating its fifth anniversary this week, 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 including the Global Solar Council, 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.
“Outdated legislation and regulation that indirectly provide an incentive for the fossil fuel industry need to be revised urgently and carbon pricing mechanisms need to be promoted at global level. In a levelled field, solar energy can lead the transition and power the world’s recovery and future growth.” says Gianni Chianetta, Chairman of Global Solar Council, member of IRENA Coalition 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.