Beyond Crisis: Renewable Energy for a Low-carbon Future/
Global Renewables Outlook outlines path to stability and prosperity
A clean future is within reach/
Energy-related CO2 emissions have risen by 1% per year over the past decade. While today’s COVID-19 crisis may suppress emissions, a rebound would restore the long-term trend.
Transforming the energy system with an emphasis on renewables would substantially cut emissions and keep global warming “well below 2oC” in line with the Paris Agreement.
Yet the ultimate goal would be to reach zero emissions.
While the last portion of CO2 emissions will be the hardest and most expensive to eliminate, a zero emissions future is possible with a new perspective on deeper decarbonisation presented in the report.
Zero emissions is possible
The Deeper Decarbonisation Perspective highlights the role of emerging technologies in mitigating CO2 emissions in shipping, aviation and other energy-intensive industries.
Key actions include:
Electrify transport and heating
Adopt renewable-based “green” hydrogen
Develop supply chain for sustainable bioenergy
Embrace the circular economy
Maximise all possible efficiency measures
Promote behavioral and other structural changes
Investment must be scaled-up rapidly
Investment must be scaled up and redirected into clean energy technologies. Fossil-fuel investments and subsidies must give way to investments in renewables and efficiency.
Transforming the energy system requires over 80% of total energy investment to be invested in renewables, energy efficiency, end-use electrification, power grids upgrades and grid flexibility.
The Transforming Energy Scenario requires USD 110 trillion in cumulative investments by 2050. Deeper decarbonisation requires an additional USD 20 trillion to reach zero emissions.
Savings would outweigh costs
Transforming energy system, while costing USD 19 trillion more, would bring returns between USD 50 trillion and USD 142 trillion.
Deeper decarbonisation would cost an additional USD 16 trillion to achieve net-zero emissions, or an additional USD 26 trillion to achieve fully zero emissions (with no carbon offsets).
Yet, the estimated savings of USD 62 trillion to USD 169 trillion are greater than the total costs of USD 35 trillion to USD 45 trillion.
Clean energy investment would boost socio-economic development
Moving forward, investment decisions could be assessed based on their compatibility with building an inclusive low-carbon economy.
The transition would bring net gains in job creation and environmental and health benefits in every region of the world.
Global GDP in 2050 would be 2.4% higher, which amounts to cumulative gain of USD 98 trillion to 2050.
More jobs would be gained than lost
Jobs in renewables could quadruple to 42 million globally by 2050. Employment gains under the energy transition extend to sectors across the economy, with 7 million more jobs than under current plans.
More people in every region of the world would find employment in manufacturing, installing, operating and maintaining renewable energy systems.
Energy efficiency could employ 21.3 million people. Another 14.5 million people will be working in jobs related to power grids and energy flexibility.
Everywhere, the transition promises to improve people’s welfare /
People’s well-being would improve faster and further through clean energy supply, economic and social development, and mitigation of climate change.
Lower air pollution would result in better health across every region.
Different regions must follow different paths to energy sustainability
Regional and national transition plans, institutional structures, capabilities and policy ambitions vary, bringing different results in 2050.
Rapid decarbonisation calls for unprecedented policy ambition
Ultimately, success in mitigating the climate threat will depend on the policies adopted, the speed of their implementation and the amounts invested.
A global green deal would foster fair energy transformation
A comprehensive policy package would bring together:
Economic development and job creation
Social equity and welfare
The energy transition is at the heart of them all.