Energy Efficiency and Renewable Action Potential in Developing Countries

Actions on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Developing Countries Could Reduce Emissions by 1.7 Gt/year by 2020.

Initial analysis of almost 6,000 projects targeting renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries has revealed that the projects could reduce CO2 emissions by about 1.7 gigatons a year by 2020.

The findings, released this week at COP21 in Paris by the 1 Gigaton Coalition in its first annual report, entitled Narrowing the Emissions Gap: Contributions from renewable energy and energy efficiency activities, are based on projects implemented between 2005 and 2012.

The report is based on the current level of activities in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the energy sector, revealing the potential for further emissions reductions if programmes and initiatives are supported further to replicate successful projects more widely.

However, after the COP21 negotiations, the level of green energy financing is likely to increase, and the 1.7 gigaton figure would be expected to grow in the future. This would assist in closing the emissions gap, which the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2014 estimated at 8-10 Gt CO2 equivalent by 2020.

Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, said, "This first report of the 1 Gigaton Coalition is an important step towards quantifying emissions savings from the energy sector. It shows governments and initiatives what could be achieved and encourages them to build on the momentum of the Paris COP to continue to increase their ambitions to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, added, "The potential of increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries to tackling climate change cannot be underestimated. But not only do these energy projects move us toward closing the emissions gap, they are also vital for many countries' social and economic development. The 1 Gigaton Coalition is playing a crucial role bringing support to these projects. As we accelerate climate action in Paris, I hope to see all parties work together to increase the ambition of what can be achieved.”

Picture of Bangui Wind Mills, Philippines by Ignacio Malapitan III reproduced under CCL.

Friday 11th December 2015

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