Speaking at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly in Abu Dhabi last weekend, Stiell said the positive outcomes from last November’s UN Climate Change Conference COP27 give the world enormous opportunity to make progress, starting now.
“It requires the cooperation of every single country represented in this room,” said Stiell. “All Parties must come together in order to achieve the level of ambition needed to get to where we need to go, and we have a lot of work to do to get there.
There is reason for optimism when it comes to renewable energy because renewables are moving further and faster than projected. Here are just a few examples:
Renewable electricity capacity additions have been outpacing those of non-renewables since 2014.
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Renewables Outlook complements this, noting that renewables are set to account for over 90% of global electricity capacity expansion in the next five years and that renewables will become the largest source of global electricity generation by early 2025, surpassing coal.
In Europe alone, the IEA estimates that the continent’s renewable electricity expansion will double over the 2022-2027 period as energy security concerns add to climate ambitions.
Worldwide renewable energy employment reached 12.7 million last year, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in one year. Solar energy was found to be the fastest-growing sector. In 2021 it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global renewable workforce.
But there is also reason for frustration. As IRENA pointed out in its submission to the global stocktake, regardless of increased ambition expressed by countries at the last two COPs, current climate pledges and overall finance to support the shift to renewables remains insufficient.