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IRENA report reveals global shortfall in renewable energy ambitions: Tripling efforts needed by 2030




A sobering new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reveals a critical gap between countries’ stated commitments to renewable energy and the urgent need to combat climate change. The report, titled “NDCs and Renewable Energy Targets in 2023: Tripling renewable power by 2030,” finds that current renewable energy ambitions outlined in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – pledges under the Paris Agreement – are insufficient to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, let alone the bolder COP28 target of tripling renewable power by 2030.


The report paints a concerning picture:


  • NDCs fall short: Renewable energy ambitions within NDCs are not only insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5°C but also fall short of what countries have already committed to in national policies and plans.

  • Tripling needed: To meet the COP28 goal, global renewable power generation capacity would need to triple from less than 3 terawatts (TW) in 2022 to 9.4 TW by 2030. Currently, NDCs fall far short of achieving this massive expansion.

  • G20 responsibility: G20 countries, with their significant resource base and emissions output, hold a crucial role. As per IRENA’s 1.5°C pathway, G20 nations alone would need to increase their renewable power capacity by at least 6.4 TW by 2030.


The report emphasizes the need for immediate action and increased ambition:


Urgent policy revisions: Countries must revise their NDCs with significantly more ambitious renewable energy targets aligned with the 1.5°C goal and COP28 commitments.


Enabling environment: Governments must create conducive policy environments through targeted regulations, financial incentives, and infrastructure development to accelerate renewable energy deployment.


Cooperation is key: Enhanced international cooperation, particularly in supporting developing countries with technology transfer and financial assistance, is essential to ensure a just and equitable energy transition.


“The time for incremental change is over,” stated Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA. “We need a quantum leap in renewable energy deployment, and that starts with revising NDCs with bold targets and concrete action plans. Leaders convening at COP28 must demonstrate the necessary political will to bridge the ambition gap and put the world on track to a sustainable future powered by renewables.”


The IRENA report serves as a stark reminder that current efforts are nowhere near enough to tackle the climate crisis. It is a call to action for national governments, international organizations, and all stakeholders to join forces and urgently prioritize the expansion of renewable energy. Only through collective ambition and decisive action can we ensure a livable planet for generations to come.

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