|20 March 2017|

Germany

The most severe impacts of climate change can be avoided by accelerating the transition to renewable energy, according to new research.

If G20 countries and others globally make the right energy decisions. the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that by 2050 global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can be reduced by 70% and completely phased-out a decade after that.

IRENA’s Perspectives for the Energy Transition: Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition, launched today at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, argues that eliminating energy-related carbon emissions is possible. It says that increased deployment of renewable energy can limit global  temperature rise to no more than two-degrees Celsius, thus avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

“The Paris Agreement reflected an unprecedented international determination to act on climate. The focus must be on the decarbonision of the global energy system as it accounts for almost two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “Critically, the economic case for the energy transition has never been stronger. Today around the world, new renewable power plants are being built that will generate electricity for less cost than fossil-fuel power plants. And through 2050, the decarbonisation can fuel sustainable economic growth and create more new jobs in renewables.

“We are in a good position to transform the global energy system but success will depend on urgent action, as delays will raise the costs of decarbonisation.”

The report recognises the massive effort which will be required by international stakeholders to achieve these targets.

Today renewable energy accounts for 24% of global power generation and 16% of primary energy supply. If decarbonisation is to be realised, the report says, that by 2050, renewables must make up 80% of power generation and 65% of total primary energy supply.

The report calls for a policy rethink at all levels and sets out the steps governments can take to play a key role in saving the planet.

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