By: Alyssa Pek, Communications Assistant
From November 6 to 17 in the beautiful city of Bonn, world leaders gathered to discuss the next steps of implementing the Paris Agreement at COP23. Since the US pulled out of this agreement, governments, companies, and citizens across the world have reacted with a reinvigorated motivation for urgent climate action - and this enthusiasm was clearly visible throughout the entire conference. From crowds chanting 'we are still in', to announcements of increased investments in climate friendly technology, to the launch of the ground-breaking Powering Past Coal Alliance, COP23 confirmed that the passion that we saw at the Paris conference is still alive today.
At the heart of the discussions during the conference was the question: how can we sustain a high standard of living and economic growth while simultaneously lowering our carbon emissions? There was one answer that continually emerged: renewable energy.
Renewable energy was seen as an efficient solution to meet the increasing energy needs of a modern world while minimising environmental impact. These technologies also offer solutions for complicated issues such as accelerating energy access in rural areas and small island developing states, increasing climate resilience and adaptation, boosting economic potential in developing countries, and powering sustainable agriculture. Altogether, renewable energy was in the spotlight throughout COP23.
This was fueled by the launch of the IRENA campaign #Renewables4Climate. Conceived with the support of renewable energy associations across the world, including SolarPower Europe, this campaign aimed to showcase how greater global ambition on renewables is crucial if the world is going to limit emissions to well below 2ÃÂÃÂ°C above pre-industrial levels.
While the Paris Agreement is an important step in the right direction, the #Renewables4Climate campaign insists that the current targets will not decarbonise the world at a quick enough rate. The current nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are not ambitious enough to keep below the 2ÃÂÃÂ°C threshold and can be greatly enhanced as prices of renewable energy continue to fall.
"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", said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General at IRENA. "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".
The website of the #Renewables4Climate campaign showcases some of the stories, photos and videos of how comapanies, governments, organisations, individuals are using renewables to transform their communities and the planet. If you would like to have your success story features, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also join the discussion on Twitter by using the hashtag #Renewables4Climate to say why you support greater renewable deployment for climate action.
(Photo Credit: IRENA)