Energy Day at COP21: Unlocking Climate Solutions

08 December 2015| Articles

An increasing number of governments, businesses and cities are taking action to accelerate the ongoing renewable energy transition. To spur momentum at COP21, yesterday was designated Energy Day in the context of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA).

As described on the LPAA website, “The Lima-Paris Action Agenda brings both state and non-state actors together on the global stage to accelerate cooperative climate action now and into the future in support of the new, universal climate change agreement which governments will reach in Paris.”

Given the massive global focus on the Paris negotiations, it was no surprise that a slew of exciting new commitments were announced. The program for the day was literally packed with speakers and discussion panels.

The morning session focused on renewable energy and was organized by IRENA, while the spotlight moved to energy efficiency and access in the afternoon, and was organized by SE4All.

These were some of yesterday’s most important announcements:

  • The official launch of the Global Geothermal Alliance, which is set to achieve a 500% increase in global installed capacity for geothermal power generation and a 200% increase for geothermal heating by 2030.
  • The expansion of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor to Western Africa. The ACEC, currently operating in East and South Africa, is boosting renewable power deployment, reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainable, climate-friendly economic growth. By facilitating a larger electricity market, the initiative could attract sufficient investments to meet half of all power needs in eastern and southern Africa by 2030.
  • The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) presented its ambitious plans to deploy renewable energy in Africa.
  • The SIDS Lighthouses Initiative announced that Saint Lucia is the 29th island to join the initiative. Since its launch in September 2014, 18 SIDS have developed roadmaps for deployment of renewable energy, $150 million has been mobilised for renewable energy projects on SIDS, and 18 MW of renewable energy has been deployed. The initiative will also announce a new pilot project development facility to help develop more bankable projects.
  • The Sustainable Energy Marketplace, a matchmaking platform connecting renewable energy projects and investors, was presented. The Marketplace expects to house 100 projects by the beginning of 2016, and to mobilize USD 10 billion in project financing over the next 3 years.
  • The launch of the Clean Water Desalination Alliance, which will gather commitments and actions to decrease emissions in desalinization plants. This initiative could save up to 80 Mln tCO2 in 2040 if globally implemented.
  • RE100, the global collaborative business initiative whose members commit to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewables, announced that six new members had just joined. This brings the total to 53 companies in all.

“The energy transition is underway worldwide. But to make the next step-change, the world must utilise all useful technologies, increase ambition among all actors in all regions of the world, and mobilise the funds needed to enable the transition.” – Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General

Full list of announcements.