Global push towards renewables will create 122mn jobs by 2050; IRENA

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Renewable Energy
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The pathway to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius by 2050 is expected to create about 122 million energy-related jobs, more than double the current 58 million in the sector, according to a new report by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

A new report by IRENA titled ‘World Energy Transitions Outlook: 1.5° C Pathway’ says that renewable energy alone will account for more than a third of all energy jobs employing 43 million people globally, supporting the post-COVID recovery and long-term economic growth.

The renewable-powered energy transition is the only scenario to provide a “fighting chance” for the world to limit global warming to 1.5° C by 2050, the Abu Dhabi-based agency said in its new report.

The report from IRENA also states that accelerating energy transitions on a path to climate safety can grow the world’s economy by 2.4 percent over the expected growth of current plans within the next decade. 

“Today, even some of the most conservative energy players have realized it as the only realistic option for a climate-safe world. Such a profound and pervasive shift of views is rooted in undeniable evidence, not only of the world’s grave problems but also of trends in technology, policy, and markets that have been reshaping the energy sector for over a decade,” the report said.

The Paris Agreement signed in 2015 mandates to cap the rise in global temperatures to 1.5° C or 2° C above pre-industrial levels. Countries around the world have been trying to control emissions levels after the movement restrictions imposed to curb COVID-19 led to a dramatic decline in greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

“The progress in the power sector is spilling over to end uses, allowing a reimagining of possibilities with the abundance of renewable options at hand,” Mr. Francesco La Camera, IRENA’s director-general said.

A record level of renewables-based power generation capacity was added to the global grid in 2020. IRENA estimates around 260 gigawatts of clean power capacity were added over the past year, which was four times the volume installed from other sources. “This a promising trajectory for rapid decarbonization of the power sector,” the agency said.

“Significant progress has been made in electric mobility, battery storage, digital technologies and artificial intelligence, among others. These shifts are also drawing greater attention to the need for sustainable exploitation and management of rare earth and other minerals, and investment in the circular economy,” the report added.

The decreasing cost of renewable energy generation could drive down the cost of hydrogen, which is increasingly favored to decarbonize electric systems, IRNA said in another report last week.

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