A ‘green’ energy system could help achieve climate targets while boosting economic growth.
This is according to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), that pushes for a renewables-based economy for short-term recovery and employment generation.
While transitioning to a green economy will require a total investment of up to $130 trillion (£106tn), IRENA projects socio-economic gains of more than $98 trillion (£79.5tn) in the next 30 years. It also expected employment in the sector to generate 42 million jobs.
Director-General, Francesco La Camera, said: “Governments are facing a difficult task of bringing the health emergency under control while introducing major stimulus and recovery measures. The crisis has exposed deeply embedded vulnerabilities of the current system.
“IRENA’s Outlook shows the ways to build more sustainable, equitable and resilient economies by aligning short-term recovery efforts with the medium-and long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.
“By accelerating renewables and making the energy transition an integral part of the wider recovery, governments can achieve multiple economic and social objectives in the pursuit of a resilient future that leaves nobody behind.”
The findings suggest that technologies such as green hydrogen and end-use electrification, could help replace fossil-fuels and slash emissions across heavy industries. This could result in eight times more savings.
IRENA expects renewables to reach an 80% share in energy production in South-East Asia, Latin America, The European Union and the Sub-Saharan Africa by 2050.