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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

‘Unstoppable Growth’ in Clean Energy - and other wins for nature

Experts say it is now cheaper to build onshore wind and solar power projects than new fossil fuel plants

Photo by Pixabay

 Animal Echo has welcomed the latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has joined forces with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which took place in Dubai at the end of last year, nearly 200 countries made major commitments to limit global warming to 1.5C. Goals were set to ‘triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, double energy efficiency improvements this decade, and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels’.

IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol was positive about the result. ‘On the political side, I would really celebrate what came out of COP28,’ he told reporters. ‘At the IEA, we are going to track all the progress in all these areas and share it with the public. We have seen renewables increase in 2023 by a growth of 50%. This is coming not just from the Europe and the US, this is coming from China, India [developing economies]. There is a very strong, unstoppable growth of clean energy, renewables, electric cars, heat pumps and others.’

The IEA also stated that it was now cheaper to build onshore wind and solar power projects than new fossil fuel plants almost everywhere worldwide, and celebrated that renewable energy was becoming more accessible to the masses. Of particular note was the price of electric cars, which continues to come down.

In other news, the United Nations (UN) has recognised seven World Restoration Flagships, which are environmental initiatives spanning across Africa, Latin America, the Mediterranean and South Asia. The projects have been put in place to rescue ecosystems at breaking point due to wildfires, drought, deforestation, and pollution, and they are now eligible for support from the UN.

Photo by Keegan Checks

 The initiatives are part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which aims to restore and halt the destruction of ecosystems across every continent and every ocean. Led by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it supports global aims to restore a billion hectares – an area larger than China. UNEP’s Executive Director Inger Anderson called it ‘a comeback for nature’, adding that ‘these initiatives show how we can make peace with nature, put local communities at the heart of restoration efforts and still create new jobs.’






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