Accelerating Energy Transition Solutions at COP27

At the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera addresses world leaders, industry CEOs, global partners, and allies.

As the world increasingly recognises renewable energy as a multiplier solution that addresses climate challenges, fosters socioeconomic growth and enhances energy security amid a global energy crisis, Francesco La Camera emphasised the need to re-imagine how international cooperation works. He called for solution-oriented COPs that bring tangible benefits for people and communities: “Developing countries need resources to build infrastructure, know-how to develop enabling frameworks and human capacity to play a part in the transformation of the global energy system”.

IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook clearly shows that accelerating the transition to a renewables-based energy system is the single most effective way to realise a net zero world. Anything short of radical and immediate action will diminish, and may possibly eliminate, the chance of staying on the 1.5°C or even 2°C path. Read the Director General’s commentary ‘Our Words Are Not Enough—Only Bold Action on Renewables Can Help the Planet’.

Alongside global partners and allies, IRENA showcased how climate commitments can be translated into action and implementation on the ground with the goal of catalysing just and inclusive energy transitions through raising ambitions, scaling up renewable energy investments and increasing energy access globally.

Accelerating a green hydrogen market to drive down emissions

During the World Leaders Summit, the Director-General took part in the ‘Investing in the Future of Energy: Green Hydrogen’ roundtable, co-chaired by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. ‘With international co-operation, the emerging hydrogen market has the potential to be more inclusive, with opportunities for developed and developing countries alike,’ he said. IRENA is a key partner of the new ‘Global Renewable Hydrogen Forum’, launched by President El-Sisi, and Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. The multi-stakeholder platform aims to grow the use of renewable hydrogen to foster cross-border trade between developing and developed countries. See Highlights from the Forum launch on Twitter.

Building renewable energy markets in Africa to close the energy access gap

In a fireside chat with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Francesco La Camera and Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director discussed how to achieve universal energy access and climate goals for Africa. At a World Bank Ministerial Dialogue with IRENA Members Uganda and Ghana, IRENA’s Director-General referred to the Agency’s ‘Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Africa and its Regions’, clearly showing that despite the continent’s significant potential, only 2 per cent of global investments in renewables in the last two decades were made in Africa. This must change, he said.

Renewables must play a more significant role in the global energy mix, he said in interviews with CNBC and others on-site. He described how to move from words to action on the renewable energy revolution in an opinion piece written by the Director-General for COP27’s Energy Day.

The Director-General also met bilaterally with Prime Ministers and Ministers from Australia, Colombia, the Cook Islands, European Union, Germany, Kosovo, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Mongolia, Singapore, Spain and the United States. You can see the highlights by visiting his Twitter account.

COP27 was a milestone for multi-stakeholder action and collaboration; IRENA was at the centre.

Alliance for Industry Decarbonization welcomes new partners at first CEO roundtable

Climate action needs industry leaders, the Director-General emphasized. “The Alliance for Industry Decarbonization stands for the growing commitment of global industry to act on decarbonization”, he said at the group’s first CEO Roundtable at COP27. Top executives from the 28 member companies and knowledge partners of the Alliance attended the meeting, with Siemens Energy and Tata Steel as co-chairs. The IRENA-managed Alliance aims to decarbonise industrial value chains across six pillars, from renewables and green hydrogen to finance.

Eleven new countries join the Global Offshore Wind Alliance at COP27

At the implementation-branded COP27, IRENA and its partners from Denmark and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) made great strides through the launch of the Global Offshore Wind Alliance. Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States joined the Alliance. IRENA estimates that by 2030, offshore wind could supply 24 per cent of total power needs globally.

See Highlights of the GOWA launch event:

Closing the energy transition gap in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The Director-General held a SIDS Ministerial at the IRENA pavilion with participation from the Honourable Fiame Mataafa, Prime Minister of Samoa, the Honourable Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Environment and Health, Antigua and Barbuda and AOSIS Chair and the Dutch Energy and Climate Minister Rob Jetten. At the ministerial, the Director-General reiterated that IRENA would continue to provide tailor-made financing and capacity support through the SIDS Lighthouse Initiative in full cooperation with the international community.

Read how ‘SIDS Seek to Widen Fiscal Space for Renewables’ and read a visual story ‘We are small but strong and resilient’.

New report urges world to unlock huge untapped renewable energy potential

Released at COP27, IRENA’s report Renewable Energy Targets in 2022: A guide to design assesses the level of renewable energy ambition in national climate pledges and benchmarks targets against the global climate goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C. It clearly shows that the collective level of energy transition ambition is not enough.

IRENA signs a partnership agreement with the IPCC

To foster renewables for climate action, IRENA signed a strategic partnership with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that aims to increase the deployment of renewables by building bridges between science, 1.5°C Scenarios and policy decision-making. A strategic climate Memorandum of Understanding with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) aims to foster global climate resilience.

The IRENA Pavilion provided a lively platform for engaging exchanges with IRENA Members, partners and guests. Take a look at IRENA’s Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts.