In its Synthesis Report for the Sixth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emphasised the need for investment in renewables if global warming is to be limited to 1.5°C and a “liveable sustainable future” secured for all.
Released yesterday (20 March), the report called for “urgent climate action”, warning that emissions should be decreasing by now, and must be cut by almost 50% by 2030 to stay within the 1.5°C maximum global temperature increase.
“Mainstreaming effective and equitable climate action will not only reduce losses and damages for nature and people, it will also provide wider benefits,” said IPCC Chair, Hoesung Lee.
“This Synthesis Report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a liveable sustainable future for all.”
To achieve the rapid and sustained reduction of greenhouse gas emissions required, the IPCC urged for an increase in finance to climate investments. This would allow communities to avoid or reduce carbon-intensive consumption and avert rising environmental risks, especially for vulnerable groups or regions.
There is already sufficient global capital for this, the report stated, but existing barriers persist.
“Political commitment, coordinated policies, international cooperation, ecosystem stewardship and inclusive governance are all important for effective and equitable climate action,” continued the report.
This means that governments, investors, central banks and financial regulators all have a part to play in global decarbonisation.
“The deep, rapid and sustained cuts in greenhouse gas emissions which the reports says are essential to avert a climate catastrophe can only be achieved if we accelerate the transition to clean power,” said RenewableUK’s Executive Director of Policy Ana Musat, in response to the report.
“As the report notes, increasing finance to attract more investment is vital to achieve our climate change goals, so Governments around the world need to send clear signals to investors to enable this.
“The UK Government has an immediate opportunity to step up by ensuring that this year’s auction for contracts to generate clean power secures the maximum amount of capacity available. Our analysis shows that the current budget is likely to secure less than half of the 5 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity eligible for this year’s auction – and that’s even if there were no other renewable technologies competing with it.”
Energy UK’s deputy director, Adam Berman, also addressed the increasing need for clean energy investment illustrated in the IPCC’s report: “Building on our successful rollout of low-carbon technologies such as offshore wind, the UK has incredible potential to create a truly low-carbon energy system that can bring down emissions and consumer bills.”
“But as the IPCC report notes, the world has to go further and faster, in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For the UK, this will mean substantially improving on the delivery of our low carbon targets, which have been called into question by the deterioration of the investment climate for clean energy projects over recent months. A combination of rising costs and increased international competition are putting at risk the UK’s ability to secure the investment needed for projects will enable us to reach Net Zero.
“The IPCC’s report has sent the UK a powerful signal about the dangers of resting on our clean energy laurels. We strongly urge the Government to take the IPCC’s message to heart, and put in place policies that will deliver the clean energy projects that will reduce the damaging effects of global heating both nationally and globally.”
Last week (16 March), the UK Government announced a £205 million budget for the latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) funding round. RenewableUK stated that this budget threatens to jeopardise investment in renewable energy projects by sending the wrong investment signals to investors and subsequently failing to unlock the full potential of renewables.