Energy transition investments need $5.7 trillion annually to avoid climate catastrophe - Energy

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  • IRENA: The world has only 8 years to avoid climate catastrophe
  • The current spread of renewable energy at the global level is not in line with climate targets
  • Increased investment could create 85 million jobs by 2030
  • Renewable energy growth last year was 260 GW
  • The number of people without access to electricity decreased from 1.2 billion to only 759 million

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has called for an increase in energy transition investments to $5.7 trillion annually, in order for the world to avoid a climate catastrophe, and to contribute to achieving the interim climate goals by 2030.

The Director-General of the Agency, Francesco La Camera, issued a stern warning, stressing that the world has only 8 years to avoid a climate catastrophe by 2030, noting that the current scale of renewable energy spread globally is not suitable for climate goals.

He called for an increase in spending on energy transition investments in line with those interim goals, foremost of which is maintaining temperatures at a level of 1.5 degrees Celsius and combating global warming, in preparation for achieving carbon neutrality by a maximum of 2050, according to an article published on the website of the Sustainable Development Goals initiative. to the United Nations.

Energy Transition Investments

The Director-General of the Agency, Francesco La Camera, explained that the last year 2021 witnessed the growth of renewable energy sources by up to 260 gigawatts, but the world needs – nevertheless – to increase the installed renewable energy to 3 times these rates annually until 2030, to achieve climate goals.

Energy Transition Investments
Increased energy transition investments are essential to avert climate catastrophe – Photo courtesy of Forbes

He pointed out that the expansion of renewable energy and other ways to avoid the climate requires an increase in the volume of energy transition investments, to reach $5.7 trillion annually over the next 8 years.

He said, “Although the volume of spending is huge, and saving it is not an easy matter, the time period before exposure to the climate disaster is running out, and promoting investments in the energy transition quickly is an investment that does not accept any loss.”

La Camera enumerated the benefits of increasing energy transition investments and promoting the deployment of renewable energy sources, pointing out that they contribute to reducing fossil fuel prices, in addition to the fact that every dollar spent on these investments yields benefits estimated between 2 and 5.5 dollars.

The Director General of IRENA pointed out that the increase in energy transition investments not only achieves climatic and economic benefits, but also extends its benefits to the social impact – by providing huge job opportunities estimated at 85 million jobs by 2030, in addition to more than 26 million jobs for renewable energy alone.

Climate disaster solutions

Francesco La Camera considered that the efforts and political commitments of countries are insufficient to avoid a climate catastrophe and maintain temperatures at a level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, noting that all countries must speed up the transition to renewable energy to contribute to achieving these goals.

He explained that the world has only 8 years on the “finish line” before facing a catastrophic climate scenario in 2030, and put forward some paths that can be followed, including reducing emissions and clean cooking solutions, in addition to the priority of integrated plans for electrification through various renewable energy sources.

La Camera stressed that there are major priorities and policies to develop the use of available technologies and adapt them in line with climate goals, pointing out the importance of working to reduce emissions through renewable energy sources, electrification, energy efficiency and green hydrogen.

The Director-General of IRENA acknowledged that there are limitations to the 1.5°C target, most notably the lack of time represented in the eight years until 2030 only, despite the response of “some” governments to abandon fossil fuels and reduce emissions under the pressure of the devastating effects of climate change in the world.

He pointed out that the expected volume of employment in various sectors during the energy transition journey, which is contained in the agency’s report on the prospects for 2022, reveals the lack of economic feasibility of fossil fuel investments and the risks of their assets.

The world's investments in the energy transition

States’ obligations .. Are they enough?

The Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Francesco La Camera, confirmed that there are countries that have already made plans to achieve some of these goals after COP26.

He said that India seeks to rely on renewable energy to provide 50% of its electricity by 2030, and Germany announced achieving its goal of 100% renewable electricity, 5 years ahead of schedule in 2035, instead of 2040, in addition to the entry of some Middle Eastern countries on the track. , such as the Emirates.

During COP26, several governments committed to providing financing of up to $24 billion annually for energy transition investments and clean energy projects, but no camera has questioned the extent to which those steps will meet critical climate goals over the next eight years.

La Camera attributed his fear of running out of time for the world to avoid a climate catastrophe to facts monitored by IRENA and others confirming the “slowing down” growth of the transition, especially since the number of people without electricity, amounting to 1.2 billion, did not decrease from 2010 to 2019, only to 759 million people.

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