Wind leaders urge G20 to “get serious” on renewables

Ahead of COP26 talks later this year, world leaders told they must accelerate the energy transition to reduce climate risks

Increasing numbers of events such as wildfires and flooding across the globe illustrate the urgent need for action on the climate emergency (pic: Bureau of Land Management)
Increasing numbers of events such as wildfires and flooding across the globe illustrate the urgent need for action on the climate emergency (pic: Bureau of Land Management)

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Chief executives from the world’s top companies in the wind industry sector have made a joint appeal to G20 members, urging them to increase efforts to phase out fossil fuels and increase wind energy production.

In an open letter, members of the Global Wind Energy Coalition for COP26 warn that, while some progress has been made in the energy transition, current net zero pledges from G20 countries are insufficient to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The rollout of wind energy and renewables installations is currently well short of the trajectory needed to meet international climate goals. This calls for an urgent review of energy policies, the wind leaders argue.

“G20 member countries represent more than 80% of global energy-related carbon emissions — so the leaders of these countries hold the power and public duty to transform the world’s energy system,” said GWEC chief executive Ben Backwell. “These countries need to get serious about renewables, and in particular wind energy as the clean energy solution with the most potential to help the world meet its Paris Agreement targets.”

A recent roadmap by the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that annual wind deployment must quadruple from 93GW in 2020 to 390GW in 2030 to meet net zero by 2050. At current growth rates, wind capacity will fall dramatically short of the volumes required, the letter states.

“G20 countries have huge amounts of untapped wind power potential which can fulfil significant portions of national electricity demand, but they are barely scratching the surface of what they can deploy. With the current pace of wind power installations across the world, forecasts show that we will only install less than half of the wind power capacity needed to get to net zero by 2050,” said Rebecca Williams, director of COP26 at GWEC.

A Global Alliance for a Green New Deal is launching later today to invite politicians from all countries to deliver policies that support a just transition to a green economy.

The open letter calls on G20 nations to:

  • Raise ambition for wind power at national level
  • Implement effective policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Commit to rapid buildout of clean energy infrastructure 
  • Agree effective and credible carbon pricing mechanisms
  • Align national and regional finance flows with climate pathways
  • Dedicate public resources to the shift to a net zero economy

The letter is signed by the leaders of the largest wind power companies, including Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Ørsted, SSE, RWE, and wind energy associations in countries across the world. 

The full list of CEO signatories can be seen here.

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