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Clean Energy 


Together with energy efficiency, clean energy technologies such as solar and wind are central to the fight against climate change. They are available today, getting better and cheaper all the time, and help improve air quality whilst creating new jobs. Photo©UN/Eskinder Debebe

A new paper from the part of the UN climate change process tasked with raising climate action ambition before 2020 is focused on mitigation opportunities for bridging the emissions gap.

The fifth technical paper under Workstream 2 of ADP concludes a year of work and summarizes successful mitigation policies with sustainable development co-benefits used across the world to unlock the significant potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency deployment. The full Technical Paper is available here

The paper includes the expert discussions held at technical meetings in June and inputs from Parties, observers and international specialized organisations, and informs the ongoing negotiations on  pre-2020 ambition. It also contains a wealth of examples of scalable and replicable best practices, which, if implemented at scale, could contribute to shifting emission trajectories.

 The continued scaling up and replication of successful and innovative renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) policies are urgently required to hold the global temperature increase to below 2 °C, which is why the Parties to the Convention decided to address the barriers in a technical process. The Technical Experts Meetings (TEMs) aim to examine the most effective emission reduction policies.

For example, REmap 2030, the renewable energy road map of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), shows that doubling the share of renewables worldwide as well as efficient energy measures could reduce up to 15.9 Gt CO2 equivalent emissions per year by 2030.

RE and EE policies can support both mitigation and adaptation objectives. As a notable example, distributed RE can support adaptive capacity by increasing access to energy and strengthening the resilience of the overall electricity system to potential climate impacts and natural hazards.

The Challenges

From an economic perspective, financing such projects is a challenge in a number of countries. Policy uncertainty and cumbersome requirements may also hinder investment flows. From a technical perspective, smarter and innovative grid-integration/system-wide policies are required to ensure the needed flexibility in the energy system. From a human capacity perspective, investment in education and training programmes is needed to build a strong workforce in the energy and financial services sectors and informed communities.

Opportunities and Partnerships

Many (sub)national governments expect to benefit greatly from financial and technology development, as well as from transfer and capacity-building support for scaling up RE and EE deployment. Key areas include:

  • designing effective incentives to leverage private finance and de-risking investment through innovative finance support mechanisms,
  • mobilizing finance through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other key multilateral initiatives,
  • facilitating technology transfer,
  • and building the capacity of project developers, domestic financial communities and other key stakeholders.

Non-State actors such as cities, regional actors and the private sector are also playing a crucial role in catalysing the deployment of RE and EE by informing policy design, participating as investors and by supporting the effective implementation.

Building on successful collaborative efforts, there is a strong need to further enhance partnerships by engaging diverse public- and private-sector stakeholders, at all levels.

Role of the Technical Experts Meetings (TEMs)

The technical examination process can continue to support, until 2020 and beyond, the advancement of critical RE and EE policies through key actions such as organizing TEMs, preparing technical papers and summaries for policymakers, prompting the engagement of a broader group of stakeholders, showcasing notable actions, … The TEMs can inspire governments, international institutions and non-State actors in undertaking initiatives and partnerships to replicate and scale up successful approaches, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to mobilize support.

More information about the TEMs is available here.


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