Renewable Energy Track at COP21
For the first time at any UN climate conference, renewable energy solutions was showcased to governments, media and the public in a series of high profile events taking place primarily from 4-7 December – a “renewable energy track” – demonstrating that renewable energy deployment is the fastest, cleanest, most reliable and most economically beneficial way to meet our climate goals. Coined Re-Energising the Future, the series of events was coordinated by a partnership consisting of the European Commission (EC), the French Syndicate for Renewable Energy (SER), IRENA, REN21 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE.
- 100% Renewable Energy (RE) for All: Solutions for combating climate change
- Workshop: Societal benefits of renewables
- RENEWABLE ENERGY: ENERGISING THE FUTURE
- Good Data for Good Decision-Making: The need for regional cooperation
The WFC, Greenpeace and REN21 teamed up to host a side event titled, 100% Renewable Energy for All: Solutions for combating climate change.
The side event presented the drivers, barriers and facilitating factors for achieving 100% RE, offering insights on how this transition is possible and affordable for all.
Hosted by REN21, the session looked at how renewables can drive forward-thinking approaches that support increased economic development and social equity, and help meet the aim of ensuring sustainable energy is available for all.
High-level speakers shared their visions for a future powered by renewable energy: business leaders described why their companies are opting for 100% renewable energy in their operations; government leaders discussed their ambitious plans for scaling up renewable energy investments; renewable industry leaders showcased innovation and breakthroughs which resulted in faster deployment and on a greater scale than analysts had anticipated.
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The event was streamed live. If you missed it, you can watch it here.
Following on the success of its ECOWAS and SADC regional status reports, REN21 hosted an event Good Data for Good Decision-Making: The need for regional cooperation. The center piece of this event was the launch of the new UNECE Renewable Energy Status Report.
Showcasing Renewable Energy at COP21
Throughout COP21, renewables were for the first time visible as a central solution to climate change mitigation. The strong appetite for an energy transition with renewables was palpable as they are economically viable and are adopted increasingly by business. For the first time in history, 196 countries agreed on a global climate agreement, committing to peaking greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to keep global temperature increase “well below” 2oC and to pursuing efforts to limit this temperature to 1.5oC.
This objective can only be achieved if fossil fuels are phased out rapidly. It has become evident that the energy future of our planet must be renewables-based. We have the technological solutions to address this challenge. Morally we have no excuse not to commit to an energy transition that moves us towards 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency, thereby ensuring energy access for all. However, for this to become reality, much still needs to be done in both the private and public sectors.