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Renewable Energy Investment Not Enough to Reach Paris Climate Target

Despite record investments in renewables, the current funding for clean energy deployment is insufficient for the world to reach the 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway under the Paris Agreement, renewable energy think tank REN21 said in an annual report.  

Despite record renewables investments, which hit as much as $622.5 billion in 2023, the world is still far from what is needed to meet the climate and sustainable development goals, REN21’s Executive Director Rana Adib wrote in the foreword to the report.  

Estimates have shown that the world would need more than twice as much annual investment in clean energy solutions by 2030 – $1.3 trillion - if it is to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius target in reach.

“The disparity in investment opportunities between high- and low-income countries, compounded by unequal access to capital, remains a major obstacle to an equitable energy transition,” Adib said.

“Interest rates in emerging economies remain significantly higher than in advanced economies, further hindering progress towards sustainability.”

Last year, global additions to renewable power capacity jumped by an estimated 36% to reach 473 gigawatts (GW), a new record for the 22nd consecutive year, REN21’s analysis showed.

According to the International Energy Agency, renewable capacity installations surged by almost 50% in 2023, led by solar photovoltaics and a jump in new Chinese installations, the IEA’s Renewables 2023 report showed.

Last year, China commissioned as much solar PV as the entire world did in 2022, while its wind additions jumped by 66% year-on-year. Globally, solar PV alone accounted for three-quarters of renewable capacity additions, the IEA said.

Despite record-breaking capacity additions and investments in renewables, the world needs more than double the current annual investment to keep the Paris Agreement goals alive.

“We aren’t even reaching 50% of what’s needed annually,” REN21’s Adib told Bloomberg in an interview published on Thursday.

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“Governments have committed, but this needs to be followed by action.”  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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