Energy Transition

The energy transition is "irreversible" but we must not relax the effort.

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As the G20 meets in China, WWF reminds leaders that now is the time for action. To this end, the NGO publishes a report presenting 15 major signals that demonstrate that the global energy transition has begun and is irreversible.
The aim of this report is to help change the framework of thinking of our leaders, to make them aware of the scale, often underestimated, of this transformation and to underline the need to accelerate the pace if we are to meet the commitments of a warming below 2°C.
 
Essor renewable energies, the decline of the coal industry or the commitment of cities and businesses: WWF has identified in a report about fifteen signals showing that the energy transition "in progress", if too slow, is "irreversible".
 
Renewable energies accounted for 90% of new electricity generation capacity in 2015, global CO2 emissions from the energy sector stagnated for the second consecutive year despite a global growth of 3%, writes the environmental organisation.
Among green energies, solar energy saw its price drop by 80% between 2009 and 2015, allowing this technology to spread much more widely.
 
 
Besides, " Global investment in electricity and renewable fuels reached a record level last year. "with $286 billion, highlights the NGO, with China, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and India in order.
 
 
The coverage of domestic electricity needs by renewable energies now reaches high thresholds in some countries: 32% in Germany and 48% in Portugal in 2015.
As a result of this boom in decarbonated energies, the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector is estimated at 8.1 million, including 2.1 million in the solar sector.
 
At the same time, the coal industry is suffering from the fall in prices. The American giant Peabody, the world's largest producer, has even filed for bankruptcy. All in all, American coal producers who filed for bankruptcy in 2016 have lost $30 billion in market value since 2010.
 
In Australia, one third of coal mines are in decline, according to the Wood Mackezie report, WWF reports. One of the explanations lies in China, whose consumption (nearly half of world production) fell in 2014 and 2015.
 
WWF is also pleased that more and more large cities meeting the climate challenge "700 mayors have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These signals are important and must be taken on board by our leaders and by as many people as possible.« said Lo Sze Ping, Director General of WWF China, in a statement. « They are showing real momentum, which needs to be further accelerated to have a chance of limiting the rise in temperatures well below the dangerous 2°C threshold.« adds the manager.
 
We call on leaders to think the world with today's data and not with the data of the past.« Pascal Canfin, director of WWF France, told AFP that ". if we're not on the 2°C trajectory at all at the moment, we see the path that can lead to it."
 
The report comes just as China and the United States, the world's biggest polluting countries, have just ratified the COP 21 agreement. Only the European countries are still dragging their feet, and many of them are still dragging their feet. Will they quickly follow the unexpected example of China, whose president has called on G20 members to "...ensure that the world's largest polluters are not left behind"? take active steps to implement the outcomes of COP21 on the issue of financement for the climate and many other topics ».?
 
Header image: GEO/GETTY

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