Re-energising the Future: Renewable Energy Solutions for Climate Change

For the first time at any UN climate conference (COP21) renewable energy solutions and visions for a renewables-powered future are being showcased to world leaders at the international conference 'RE-Energising the Future' (today, 9:30-19:00, Palais Broingnart). Representing a cost-effective solution to energy sector decarbonisation, renewables contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – a top priority to keep global temperature rise below 2°C. Moreover, they reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, create jobs, and support the economy. During the event, government leaders including Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Ségolène Royal, French Minister for Environment, Abdelkader Amara, Moroccan Minister of Energy, Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, and Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, will discuss their plans for scaling up renewable energy investments. CEOs from companies such as Masdar, Solar Power Company Group, 50 Hertz and Iberdrola will showcase innovations and breakthroughs; representatives from Google, Facebook, Statoil, Build Your Dreams and M-KOPA, among others, will discuss their 100% renewable energy operations. Popular musician Akon will present his Akon Lighting Africa initiative.

In addition, two new initiatives will be launched: the establishment of the Global Solar Council by the leading regional and national solar associations; and Collectively’s “We Got Power” campaign bringing together some of the world leading brands, NGOs, innovators and a global millennial audience.

The conference is part of a series of events comprising a 'Renewable energy track', taking place from 4-7 December at COP21 to show how renewable energy is among the fastest, cleanest and most economically beneficial ways to meet climate goals. It is organised by the European Commission (EC), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), the Syndicate for Renewable Energy of France (SER) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Organisers' quotes

“The world is shifting with great pace towards clean energy. This is an undeniable fact. Renewable energy is playing a big role in this transition, which is why the European Union will keep investing heavily in them, aiming at reaching a share of at least 27% of renewables in the EU energy mix by 2030. Renewable energy is not only good for the climate; it also secures a reliable, robust and sustainable energy supply for Europe.” – Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy

“It is now not a question of ‘if’ the world ultimately transitions to a renewable energy future, but rather whether it will do so quickly enough. The energy choices we make in the next few years will determine whether we are able to close the emissions gap, and in doing so, secure a liveable climate where future generations can thrive.” – Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General

“Despite rising energy use, for the first time in four decades, global carbon emissions associated with energy consumption remained stable in 2014 while the global economy grew; this stabilisation has been attributed to increased penetration of renewable energy and to improvements in energy efficiency and shows that renewable energy deployment is a central pillar for reaching our climate targets.” – Dr. Arthouros Zervos, Chair of REN21

“What do we expect from COP21? We expect binding emission-reduction targets for all 195 countries to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy is the most effective way to achieve this. This transition is already underway and will be strongly stimulated by a universal agreement.” – Jean-Louis BAL, President of SER

“The UAE is a global leader committed to advancing innovation and renewable energy technologies. We have set an ambitious goal to achieve a 24 per cent clean energy mix by 2021 as part of our pursuit to diversify the UAE’s economy. Our actions reinforce our commitment to addressing climate change while ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.” H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change

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