The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are jointly ramping up efforts to fight climate change by promoting the widespread adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
The new strategic partnership builds on a long history of cooperation that aims to ensure a low-carbon climate-resilient world in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
In a memorandum of understanding signed between the heads of IRENA and UNFCCC, the two organizations have agreed to step up the exchange of knowledge on energy transition, collaborate more closely at expert meetings, increase capacity building to promote renewables and undertake joint outreach activities.
“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 degrees Celsius,” said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of UNFCCC. “Time is running out – we are already seeing worsening climate change impacts around the world – including unprecedented heatwaves, and we need to grasp all opportunities to rapidly deploy clean, renewable energy at scale to prevent the worst climate scenarios form becoming a reality.”
Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, added, “Falling technology costs have made solar, wind and other renewables the competitive backbone of energy decarbonisation and, together with energy efficiency, the most effective climate action tool available."
La Camera also noted that renewable energy delivers jobs, delivers on sustainable development and will deliver a viable climate solution. “The 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,” he stated.
IRENA includes hydropower in its definition of renewables, and UNFCCC is on record saying hydropower can “help climate action.”
This article was adapted from one previously published on the ESI-Africa website.