UN and IRENA join forces to accelerate renewable energy uptake

They intend to step up the exchange of knowledge on the energy transition to help tackle climate change

The Big Zero report

The UN is joining forces with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to ramp up efforts to fight climate change by promoting the widespread adoption of renewables.

The heads of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and IRENA have signed a memorandum of understanding to step up the exchange of knowledge on the energy transition and collaborate more closely at expert meetings.

They also intend to increase capacity building to promote renewable energy and undertake joint outreach activities.

It builds on the partnership between IRENA and the on a long history of co-operation that aims to ensure a low carbon world in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “The rapid transition to clean energy is crucial to meet the central goal of the Paris climate change agreement, which is to hold the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5°C.

“Time is running out – we are already seeing worsening climate change impacts around the world – including unprecedented heatwaves, floods and wildfires – and we need to grasp all opportunities to rapidly deploy clean, renewable energy at scale to prevent the worst climate scenarios from becoming a reality.”

Francesco La Camera, Director-General at IRENA added falling technology costs have made solar, wind and other renewables the “competitive backbone” of energy decabonisation and together with energy efficiency, the most effective climate action tool available.

He said: “Renewable energy delivers jobs, delivers on sustainable development and will deliver a viable climate solution.

“Renewables-based energy transition provides a clear opportunity to increase ambition in the reviewing process of the national climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. IRENA will fully support countries in realising this opportunity on the way to COP25 in Chile this year and to COP26 in 2020.”

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