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India aims to install 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030
Renewable Energy India aims to install 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 © Creative Commons

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The Nature Conservancy’s Statement on the release of IRENA’s post COVID-19 agenda

Today, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released its post COVID-19 recovery agenda showing that investments targeting renewable energy sources can put the world on a climate safe path and generate wider socio-economic benefits.  The Nature Conservancy, a member of IRENA’s Coalition for Action, has long advocated for increased adoption of smart sited, low-impact renewables as part of an overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Elizabeth Gray, TNC’s global managing director for climate, said of today’s release:

“As governments around the world look to promote policies to address the climate emergency, we are seeing growing support for policies that support a shift to renewable energy.  By promoting green recovery measures to the COVID-19 pandemic, including renewable energy, natural climate solutions, and green infrastructure, governments can foster economic resilience, job creation, and solutions toward a climate-safe future.

“We know we’re at the beginning of a rapid global buildout of renewable energy generation.  In fact, in order to meet the Paris Agreement goals, the world needs at least a nine-fold increase in renewable energy generation.  To support a clean and green future, we must ensure that global renewable energy expansion increases benefits to communities, reduces wildlife impacts, and avoids the release of additional CO2 from land conversion.  Fortunately, the world has an abundance of low-impact lands with high renewable energy development potential.  TNC has identified six pathways for promoting the buildout of these solutions while we work toward a just energy transition.”

Building on its previous call to action released in April 2020, the Coalition for Action now urges governments to reset their recovery priorities through the following six actions:

  1. Re-evaluate stimulus measures and correct course to ensure a green recovery in line with global climate objectives.
  2. Raise policy ambitions and clarify long-term plans for renewable generation and consumption, both centralized and decentralized.
  3. Ensure energy markets can deliver continuity and stimulate investment and growth in renewables.
  4. Prioritize renewable energy as a key component of industrial policies.
  5. Align labor and education policies with a just energy transition.
  6. Intensify international co-operation and action on COVID-19 while recognizing renewable energy as a key part of the solution.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.