World faces 'abyss of irreversible climate consequences' unless we act, says Irena chief

Representatives from more than 100 countries gather in Abu Dhabi to discuss global energy transition ahead of Cop27

Francesco La Camera, director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, says the world needs to step up its commitment to renewables. Victor Besa / The National
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The world is facing into an abyss of irreversible climate change unless urgent action is taken, a renewable energy chief has warned.

Francesco La Camera, director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), said collaboration was needed before the forthcoming Cop27 climate conference in Egypt to turn the tide.

Speaking as the Abu Dhabi-headquartered agency kicked off its 24th council meeting on Thursday in the capital, Mr La Camera said the world needed to step up its commitment to renewables.

“We are staring into a terrifying abyss of irreversible climate consequences, if we fail to act,” said Mr La Camera.

“The Irena council meeting comes at a critical point in time and gives the international community an opportunity to strengthen collaboration and bolster the world’s commitment to renewables for climate action before Cop27 and Cop28.”

The biannual two-day meeting, chaired this year by Uruguay, gathers more than 400 delegates from 108 countries in Abu Dhabi to discuss the world’s energy transition before Cop27 that starts in Egypt on November 6.

“We are convinced that Irena must continue to spearhead the penetration of renewable energy around the world,” said Fitzgerald Cantero, council chair and National Director of Energy of Uruguay.

“The solutions to mitigate energy poverty and the solution to the current energy crisis will come from renewables and those of us who are already on this path will take further strides in this direction.”

According to the International Energy Agency, the share of renewables in total electricity generation last year stood at about 30 per cent.

However, Irena has said despite the growth in renewable energy capacity over the past decade, the pace of change is inadequate to limit the rise in temperatures from pre-industrial levels.

The Paris Agreement on climate signed in 2015 aims to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C, and to keep them “well below” 2.0°C above pre-industrial times.

Cop27 will try to keep those targets alive.

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Updated: October 27, 2022, 1:50 PM