19 – 23 August 2019 |Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
Renewable energy is a key solution and the most practical action tool to address climate change. With rapid uptake of renewables, CO2 emissions would be about 70 per cent lower than today, analysis by the International Renewable Energy (IRENA) shows. Beyond achieving climate stability, the shift to renewables offers significant long-term socio-economic advantages and is a cornerstone of sustainable development. Read more why accelerating the uptake of renewable energy is key to a climate-safe future.
This central message by IRENA will be brought to the Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW) taking place 19-23 August in Salvador, Brazil. Regional Climate Weeks serve as a critical stepping stone to the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2019 in New York and gathers diverse stakeholders in the public and private sectors around a common goal of addressing climate change. Regional Climate Weeks comprise a series of events that provide space for grassroots exchange of knowledge and best practices across the region on: the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and global climate action.
During LACCW, IRENA is coordinating the Energy Transition breakout session during the Regional NDC Dialogue on Monday, 19 August and the Energy Transition Capacity Building Session on Wednesday, 21 August. Additionally, IRENA will organise side events at the venue's 'Action Hub' throughout the week.
Concrete Climate Action on the Ground: Energy Transition (Caribbean)
16:00 - 17:30
The Caribbean region is home to islands that are among the most severely affected by natural disasters induced by climate change. Several countries are heavily reliant on fossil fuels for their energy needs, making them vulnerable to external factors such as oil price fluctuations. Caribbean SIDS have identified energy system resilience and renewable energy deployment as key goals in their energy transition. In this context, the Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have set a regional target of 47 per cent renewable energy contribution to total electricity generation by 2027. This commitment is also visible in the Caribbean countries’ NDCs: 92 per cent mention renewable energy while 85 per cent include renewable energy targets.
The Caribbean has huge renewable energy potential but requires significant investing in its development and establishment of an efficient infrastructure. Estimated investment needed for energy targets in the current NDCs exceeds USD 8 billion. With sufficient investment, the Caribbean will accelerate the energy transition through mitigation and adaptation strategies with greater utilization and exploitation of abundant indigenous resources.
This session will explore options where action in the context of the energy transition can fullfil multiple objectives of development and climate change.
Concrete Climate Action on the Ground: Energy Transition (Latin America)
16:00 - 17:30
Deep Decarbonisation of the Energy System in Latin America and the Caribbean
16:15 - 17:30
A deep decarbonisation of the energy system is necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. Renewable energy, coupled with ramped-up energy efficiency, could deliver significant CO2 emission reductions. Achieving the energy transformation is not simply a replacement of fuels; nor it is only about increasing the renewable capacity. System design and operation must be moulded to accommodate new technologies and policies that favour renewable energy and energy efficiency. Furthermore, policies have to adapt to the dynamic nature of the emerging system and embrace the multitude of players in it to ensure a just and fair transition.
This session will showcase replicable examples of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to accelerate the energy transition.
Financing the Energy Transition in Latin America and the Caribbean
17:30 - 18:30
Scaling up renewables in line with their potential to meet energy security and climate objectives requires more significant investment than currently planned. Further, energy efficiency solutions often amortize within a few years, but high upfront costs constitute a significant barrier. Although public finance plays an important part to further renewable energy, it is unlikely to increase above its current average of 15%. Thus, private finance will need to supply the lion’s share of new investment in energy transition.
There are constraints that prevent the private sector from accessing many of the existing investment opportunities, with challenges such as the lack of a project pipeline, limited access to affordable capital, and limited risk mitigation instruments, among others. In spite of these constraints, more and more non-energy companies are voluntarily, and actively, procuring or investing in renewable energy, increasingly through corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). While roughly one in five corporations has committed to renewable electricity targets, the opportunity exists to strengthen these targets and implement them throughout the commercial and industrial sector. Furthermore, thanks to the increasing success of labels and quick return on investments, energy efficiency considerations are becoming more prevalent.
This session will focus on key action areas that can help overcome barriers and create an enabling environment that can stimulate investment, encourage corporate sourcing and make Latin America and the Caribbean leading global forces in harnessing renewable energy and energy efficiency potential.