GLAND, SWITZERLAND – A new report from WWF highlights important signs that an unstoppable global energy transition is underway.
As leaders of the world’s biggest economies get set to meet in China, G20 and other governments need to recognize that energy is evolving and that they should take the action required to maintain momentum.
The report by WWF-France and WWF-China called "15 Signals: Evidence the Energy Transition is Underway," notes that the recently agreed Paris Agreement on climate change draws a line in the sand for the transformation of the world’s energy system into a clean and sustainable form.
WWF-France CEO Pascal Canfin said evidence of the transformation was clear, but most leaders do not seem to be aware of it.
“Despite the evidence of the energy transition, there is still a wide gap between what leaders are agreeing to in global deals and their actions. We need to accelerate the transition and scale it up to have a chance of keeping global temperature rise to well below 2°C, trying for 1.5°C, as countries committed to in the Paris Agreement just eight months ago,” he said.
WWF-China CEO LO Sze Ping agreed. “Ending fossil fuel subsidies, supporting the deployment of renewables and energy efficiency, increasing green finance and putting a just price on carbon are just some of the actions that can be taken right now to put pace into the transition,” he said.
“Some countries have shown good examples of pushing for a renewable energy future. However, all countries including the G20 need to take concrete actions to help the global transition to 100 per cent renewable energy, as soon as possible,” said Canfin.
The 15 significant signs captured in the report highlight the fact that the global energy transition is visible everywhere, in the growth of renewables, the rise of city-level climate actions, the stagnation of CO2 emissions and in companies who are committing to science based targets as the foundation of their climate actions.
“As 2016 heads into the record books as likely the hottest year ever recorded in history, it is a reminder that we have precious little time left to act to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C. We have the Paris Agreement to guide our way. Now we need governments to implement it,” said Canfin.
The G20 gives opportunities to all stakeholders to say how and what they can contribute to accelerating the transition. So WWF fully supports the Chinese presidency’s call for G20 members to “take active measures to implement the outcomes of COP21 on climate financing and others”. Other recommendations in the report include urging the G20 to ensure all possible support, including fiscal and economic tools, for reliable, safe, sustainable and clean energy access for all by 2030.