IRENA, China join forces to attain the carbon neutrality goals

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Renewable Energy
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The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the People’s Republic of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) have agreed to work together to strengthen cooperation as the world’s largest renewable energy market builds momentum towards the achievement of its carbon neutrality goals.

China has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 and has pledged to peak CO2 emissions before 2030.

Under the terms of the agreement, IRENA will prepare a comprehensive energy transition roadmap that identifies essential policy actions, technology solutions, and industrial development programs to enable the realization of medium- and long-term national renewable energy goals and decarbonization aims. Joint work will also include the identification of optimal sub-national pathways to carbon neutrality.

China has vowed to increasing its non-fossil fuel primary energy share to 25 percent by 2030, as well as growing the total installed capacity of solar and wind to 1200 GW by that time. Mr. Zhang Jianhua, Administrator of the NEA, and Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, signed the agreement.

Mr. La Camera remarked that “China is a fundamental actor in the achievement of a rapid energy transition that aligns global development with a climate-safe, inclusive and just future. IRENA will strongly support China’s efforts to achieve its decarbonization goals at home while leveraging our unique global platform to bring the benefits of Chinese knowledge and experience to countries pursuing their own transitions around the world.”

According to IRENA data, China installed a record 136 GW of new renewable energy capacity last year (2020), more than half of worldwide additions in 2020, with the bulk coming from 72 GW of wind and 49 GW of solar. China now has about a third of the world’s installed renewable energy capacity.

Mr. Jianhua pointed out that “signing this MoU between NEA and IRENA is an important milestone, which will further solidify and strengthen energy transition cooperation between the two parties. We aim to maximize complementarities and share experience, talent, and innovative solutions to deliver concrete outcomes to both sides while contributing to the global energy transition.”

Further areas of cooperation include the co-development of reports relevant within multilateral settings such as G20 and ASEAN, as well as analysis of technological solutions around the integration of high shares of variable renewables including smart grids, energy storage solutions, and technology standards.

IRENA and the NEA will jointly support the exchange of best practices and experiences towards green and sustainable energy development in key countries and regions within the IRENA membership and will cooperate to arrange events, conduct workshops, and training.

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