With the Paris Climate Agreement having just come into force, leaders from a wide range of sectors are coming together on Energy Day at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22) to demonstrate action on global efforts to decarbonise energy systems.
Energy Day is being jointly organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), in cooperation with the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) and the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE), as part of a series of thematic days – hosted by the Climate Champions – and held under the auspices of the COP22 Presidency.
The Paris Agreement set urgent climate action firmly in the context of sustainable development, with conversations on Friday focusing on how the world achieves the Sustainable Development Goal Number 7 (to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), and secure universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy that can connect the current 1.1 billion people in the world who have little or no access to electricity, and the 2.9 billion people that still rely on smoky, dangerous solid fuels for cooking and heating.
Discussions and commitments made throughout the day include:
- Announcements from the RE100 and EP100 initiatives
- Pre-launch commitments to “One for All” – a global campaign to be launched in early 2017 that seeks to mobilise new forms of capital and new investors to end energy poverty before 2030.
- Developments in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Lighthouses Initiative, launched in Paris last year aimed at supporting islands in the transformation of their energy systems.
- Developments related to the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)
- The remarkable renewable energy transformation of Morocco, this year’s COP hosts.
“Closing the energy gap offers us one of the greatest economic opportunities of our lifetime,” said Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL). “In 2016, the world needs an energy system that allows universal access, supports new jobs and meets our aspirations of a just, fair future for all. To achieve this, promises made must be promises kept.”
“The climate objectives agreed in Paris require nothing less than the radical decarbonisation of the global economy,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. “Transitioning rapidly to a future fuelled by renewable energy, combined with improving energy efficiency, is the single most effective way to stave off catastrophic climate change while providing citizens with a better quality of life. But the pace and scale of change needs to dramatically increase if we are to fulfil the promise of the Paris Agreement. Governments need to create the necessary policy and finance frameworks to catalyse a groundswell of initiatives, as the private sector develops its own decarbonisation strategies. This is well within our reach.”
New announcements made on Energy Day include:
- New commitments from Dalmia Cement and Helvetia were announced during the press conference, which saw them publicly commit to use 100% renewable power across their operations and join RE100; a global, collaborative initiative with more than 80 of the world’s most influential companies who are working to massively increase demand for – and delivery of – renewable energy.
- Announcements also came from Philips Lighting and Swiss Re who have committed to double their energy productivity and join EP100, a global campaign that works with companies to maximize the economic benefits of every unit of energy they consume.
- The RE100 and EP100 initiatives are designed to work together to provide the least-cost decarbonisation pathway for business, and today three companies – Dalmia Cement, Philips Lighting and Swiss Re – become the first companies to be part of both campaigns led by The Climate Group, in partnership with CDP and the Global Alliance for Energy Productivity.
- Together, RE100 companies are collectively creating over 100TWh of demand for renewable electricity – more than enough to power Morocco three times over. Members speaking today include Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E, Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director for Mars, and Bill Weihl, Director of Sustainability, at Facebook. Mr. Rabinovitch announced a new wind power purchasing agreement to power Mars’ Mexican operations.
- A new private-sector led initiative, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), was also announced – REBA builds connections between corporate electricity demand and renewable energy supply.
- Since COP21, the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative grew rapidly to include 39 States and 19 development partners and developed an innovative island renewable energy support programme. 19 renewable energy projects in the Caribbean were registered on the Sustainable Energy Marketplace, representing an investment volume of $1 billion. Two island States, Antigua and Barbuda and Cabo Verde, were selected to receive funding from the IRENA/ ADFD Project Facility and other co-financiers for a total of $45 million. In addition the UAE have recently announced $50 million for renewable energy projects in the Caribbean States.
Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E, stated: “Electric vehicles reach their full potential when coupled with renewable energy charging – which is why all the fully-electric Formula E cars are powered by a revolutionary zero-emission glycerine. The future is electric!”