The role of renewable energy solutions in mitigating climate change is proven. The heavy reliance on fossil fuels and inefficient and outdated coal-fired power plants is one of the main reasons for the energy sector’s high contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. This not only elevates global temperatures but seriously impacts on air quality and human health. Transitioning to renewable energies therefore supports significant progress on the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The renewable energy industry is evolving rapidly and opportunities exist to significantly scale this up and encourage a true, global energy transformation. This is driven by the fact that many parts of the work still face power supply deficits and are eager for alternative solutions to fossil fuels to ensure energy security; recognition of the role of renewable energy in mitigating climate change and meeting national climate targets under the Paris Agreement; a rapid and marked decline in renewable technology costs; increasing interest from global and local energy companies to expand into new, developing country, markets; and support from international organizations such as UNDP to create an enabling environment for investment.
Within its work on renewable energy, UNDP supports the development of on- and off-grid renewable energy technologies and delivery services. In doing so, UNDP supports governments to transform their renewable energy markets and identify and implement policies that catalyze investment in renewable energy technologies. All renewable energy solutions supported by UNDP focus on integrated approaches that benefit climate and development. UNDP’s integrated approach and focus on zero-carbon, risk-informed, sustainable development, mean that renewable energy is a core element in other development areas, including achieving climate targets, reducing disaster risks (associated with rising temperatures), and building back better following a disaster event.