Report: Renewable Energy’s Booming, But Still Falling Far Short of Climate Goals

This Inside Climate News article discusses how renewable energy is increasing, but not enough. Power sector emissions would have been 15 percent higher in 2018 without the past decade’s renewable energy growth, a UNEP report shows.

Renewable energy capacity quadrupled worldwide over the past 10 years, with an estimated $2.6 trillion invested in its growth, a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme shows. But the speed of that growth still falls far short of what researchers say is needed to keep global warming in check.

To meet the Paris climate agreement aim of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported last year that the world would need to invest an average of about $3 trillion to $3.5 trillion every year between 2016 and 2050.

“There is certainly a global shift,” said Kathy Hipple, an analyst with the Institute for Energy, Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). “The question is, ‘Is it moving fast enough from a climate perspective?’ And arguably it’s not.”

Still, the annual Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report released Thursday holds positive signs for the future, particularly with the strong growth of solar and wind power, said Francoise d’Estais, head of the finance unit for UN Environment Programme’s Energy and Climate Branch.

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