A global coalition of 200 organizations is urging world leaders and Parties to the Paris Agreement to set a global target of tripling renewable energy capacity to at least 11,000 GW by 2030. This call for action comes as a step change in renewable energy growth and energy efficiency is seen as the most efficient and cost-effective way to decarbonize the global economy and secure a livable future for all.
The proposed target for 2030 sends a clear signal to governments, industry, investors, and civil society about the unprecedented scale and speed required to limit global warming to a 1.5°C pathway. The goal builds on the recognition of the urgent need to transform energy systems, as agreed upon at COP27.
The COP28 Presidency, alongside policymakers and heads of international energy agencies, is already working on a shared target to triple global renewable energy capacity. This involves accelerating the deployment of wind power, solar power, hydropower, and geothermal power. By doing so, it would pave the way for the growth of technologies like long-duration storage and green hydrogen, ensuring not only clean but also secure and just energy systems. This would lay the foundation for achieving a net-zero global energy system by 2050.
The benefits of tripling renewable energy capacity extend beyond reducing carbon emissions. Renewable energy is already transforming communities worldwide, generating millions of green jobs, attracting capital, and powering homes, cars, and factories with clean electricity. Scaling up these efforts presents a significant opportunity to reduce the damage caused by climate change and promote sustainable, inclusive, and climate-resilient growth.
While each country and region will adopt its own approach to achieving this common target, there are universal enablers for accelerating renewable energy deployment. The renewables industry, investors, and other stakeholders are ready to collaborate with governments, but urgent action is needed in several key areas.
First, governments should commit to ambitious energy transition plans with interim milestones beyond 2030. These plans should be reflected in Nationally Determined Contributions and national policy frameworks, including well-planned schedules for capacity procurement.
Second, streamlining permitting schemes for renewable energy projects, long-duration energy storage, and renewable hydrogen is crucial. Policymakers can consider implementing lead times for administrative, licensing, and environmental permitting stages, as well as a simplified approval process.
Additionally, investing in grid action plans to rapidly expand electricity grids and heat systems is essential for integrating large volumes of renewables and long-duration energy storage solutions. Grid infrastructure often requires a longer lead time than renewable projects, and addressing this bottleneck is crucial for scaling up renewable energy.
Furthermore, fostering multilateral renewable energy partnerships and trade agreements will enhance collaboration, technology transfer, and a just transition in developing economies. Including renewables in wider environmental and biodiversity strategies is also important for a nature-positive energy transition.
Lastly, a strong commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 7, which aims to provide affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030, is necessary. Policymakers should also consider additional key enablers such as sustainability and technology standards, a level playing field in energy subsidies, flexibility in electricity markets, and recognition of indigenous and land rights in renewable deployment.
Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 requires governments, industry, finance communities, and international collaboration. It demands fast-tracking policies and regulations, mobilizing financial and technical resources to support developing economies, and taking a holistic approach to energy system transformation. The urgency for this profound course correction of the energy system is evident, and the time to act is now.
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– Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy