Post-Covid economic recovery to be driven by renewables: UN report

As Covid-19 hits the fossil fuel industry, a new UN report on Wednesday showed renewable energy is more cost-effective than ever — providing an opportunity to prioritise clean energy in economic recovery packages and bring the world closer to meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goals.

The ‘Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020’ report — from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and BloombergNEF (BNEF) — analyses 2019 investment trends, and clean energy commitments made by countries and corporations for the next decade.

It finds commitments equivalent to 826 GW of new non-hydro renewable power capacity, at a likely cost of around $1 trillion, by 2030.

One GW is similar to the capacity of a nuclear reactor.

Getting on track to limiting global temperature rise to under two degrees Celsius — the main goal of the Paris Agreement — would require the addition of around 3,000 GW by 2030, the exact amount depending on the technology mix chosen.

The planned investments also fall far below the $2.7 trillion committed to renewables during the last decade.

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