Achieving a 36% share of renewable energy by 2030 would reduce half of the emissions needed to limit global temperature rise to below 2°C.
That’s according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which added energy efficiency improvements would also help to achieve the target.
Annual investment should double to exceed $500 billion (£325bn) by 2020 and more than triple to surpass $900 billion (£585bn) by 2030, the ‘REthinking Energy: Renewable Energy and Climate’ report stated.
Increasing renewable energy would contribute to at least 12 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including increasing energy access, improving quality of life and reducing poverty.
The green energy sector currently employs 7.7 million people worldwide but the figure could exceed 24 million by 2030 if the 36% renewables share is achieved.
The report outlines five actions for a sustainable energy future to achieve the target including strengthening policy commitments, mobilising investments, building institutional capacity and enhancing regional engagement.
Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General said: “The strong business case for renewable energy has made the energy transition inevitable. It is now not a question of if the world ultimately transitions to a renewable energy future but rather whether it will do so quickly enough. At the upcoming climate talks in Paris, it will be up to countries to commit to strong targets and in turn, give a strong political signal to catalyse further investments in renewable energy.”