Statement on the new IPCC report: “We have to be driving the renewable energy revolution forward hard”


The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. In its new assessment, titled the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, released in South Korea on Monday, October 8, the IPCC said there are clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems from limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, allowing for a more sustainable and equitable society for all.

Speaking on the release of the report, Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, said:

“This report is devastating in detailing the size of the challenge before us to manage our economies to stay well below 2 degrees of warming. But we can do it. What’s important now is how we react to this report. We have known for some time the price of inaction is far higher than action. That price just got even higher.

“Many of the solutions we need are at hand. We have to use carbon and manage each molecule, so it doesn’t escape into the atmosphere. We have to be driving the renewable energy revolution forward hard. The beauty of this revolution is that we can also make energy services inclusive - leaving no one behind and provide sustainable energy for all.

“The report leaves no place to hide. The deep decarbonization of the economy is urgent, transcends all boundaries and political affiliations. This is our watch. It’s our responsibility.”

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in energy - as well as land, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching 'net zero' around 2050.

If we’re to meet Sustainable Development Goal 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy - and ensure we leave no one behind in an energy transition that provides for all, renewable energy will play a pivotal role in action going forwards.

Read the report in full here.

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