According to the report by Paris-based think-tank REN21, though growth in renewable power has been impressive over the past five years, too little is happening in heating, cooling and transport
New Delhi: The journey towards climate disaster would continue, unless an immediate switch to efficient and renewable energy is made across sectors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a latest report.
According to the report by Paris-based think-tank REN21, though growth in renewable power has been impressive over the past five years, too little is happening in heating, cooling and transport.
“We must end any kind of support to the fossil economy, particularly when it comes to heating, cooling and transport. Governments need to radically change the market conditions and rules and demonstrate the same leadership as during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rana Adib, executive director, REN21.
The report titled ‘Renewables 2020 Global Status Report ’ said that in the heating, cooling and transport sectors, the barriers are still nearly the same as 10 years ago. Meeting the Paris targets would require an annual decrease of at least 7.6 per cent to be maintained over the next 10 years.
According to the report, the total final energy demand continues to be on the rise — 1.4 per cent annually from 2013 to 2018. Despite significant progress in renewable power generation, the share of renewables in total final energy demand barely increased — 9.6 per cent in 2013 to 11 per cent in 2018.
It added that compared to the power sector, the heating, cooling and transport sectors lag far behind with renewable energy having a 26 per cent share in power, followed by 10 per cent share of heating and cooling, and a three per cent share of transport.
“Even if the lockdowns were to continue for a decade, the change would not be sufficient. At the current pace, with the current system and current market rules, it would take the world forever to come anywhere near a no-carbon system,” added Adib.
According to the report, recovery packages offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make the shift to a low-carbon economy. But, there is a great risk for this enormous chance to be lost.
“Many of these packages include ideas that will instead lock us further into a dirty fossil fuel system. Some directly promote natural gas, coal or oil. Others, though claiming a green focus, build the roof and forget the foundation. Take electric cars and hydrogen, for example. These technologies are only green if powered by renewables,” added Adib.
The report added that green recovery measures, such as investment in renewables and building efficiency, are more cost effective than traditional stimulus measures and yield more returns.
The report also said that the renewable energy sector employed about 11 million people worldwide in 2018.