A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) states countries have an opportunity to significantly increase renewable energy ambition within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and to accelerate its deployment in line with objectives in the Paris Agreement
The report was released at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. The findings were that current NDCs and energy strategies can be substantially enhanced to meet global climate objectives. Entitled ‘Untapped Potential for Climate Action:Renewable Energy in Nationally Determined Contributions’, the report also identifies that renewable energy already targeted within national energy strategies often exceeds renewable energy capacity currently envisaged under NDCs.
Global renewable energy deployment levels under current NDCs would bring 80GW of renewable energy capacity online each year between 2015 – 2030. However, the current pace of deployment has seen countries install 125GW of new renewable energy capacity on average annually between 2010 and 2016, suggesting that NDCs can better reflect the global energy transition.
“The case for renewable energy has strengthened considerably since parties first quantified the renewable energy components of their nationally determined contributions,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General at a press conference for the Global Climate Action energy, water and agriculture thematic segment.
“As the global community prepares for a new round of climate negotiations under the Paris Agreement, it is critical we go in with a clear understanding of the trajectory required to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” continued Amin. “Our analysis finds that the convergence of innovation, falling costs and positive socioeconomic impacts of renewable energy – together with the climate imperative – make a compelling case for accelerating action.”
As part of a mechanism built into the Paris Agreement, countries are required to update or submit new NDCs over time, each of which is designed to be progressively more ambitious than the last. With the second round of NDCs due in 2020, a ‘Facilitative Dialogue’ is set to start in 2018, during which Parties will take stock of initial progress toward the collective goals in the Agreement.
IRENA also announced the establishment of a new facility focused on providing strategic planning and technical support to countries to raise achievable renewable energy ambitions under their NDCs while at COP23.
“Given the gap we have found that exists between what countries are pledging to do under the Paris Agreement and actual progress and potential on the ground, it is clear that there is an opportunity to work with countries in a targeted fashion to ramp up both implementation and ambition,” concluded Amin.