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To achieve the Paris net-zero goals, the world must invest $131 trillion in clean energy

To meet the climate goals set out in the 2015 Paris accords, the world must spend $131 trillion (£94 trillion) in renewable energy resources over the next 30 years.

According to a recent study from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), global investment needs to rise by $33 trillion over the next few decades if global warming is to be kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To do so, by the middle of the century, the amount of renewable energy as a primary supply would have to increase eight times.

Around the same time, fossil fuel usage would have to decrease by 75%, with coal and oil consumption declining far faster than natural gas usage.

In addition, the study recommended a massive rise in the amount of electricity generated by "green" hydrogen.

By 2050, 30% of all electricity will be produced from zero-carbon energy sources, according to IRENA's net-zero scenario.

Many people hoped that when the coronavirus pandemic hit a year ago, it would signal a faster transition to a cleaner energy system around the world.

But, said IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera, “we are heading in the wrong direction”.

“The energy transition can no longer be limited to mitigation efforts or incremental steps. It has to become a transformational effort, a system overhaul, based on the rapid upscaling of available technologies while innovating for the future”, he added.

Global carbon emissions have already returned to pre-Covid levels by the end of 2020, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Despite the fact that global lockdowns caused emissions to drop, the increase in energy demand necessitated by the economic rebound from the pandemic resulted in emissions being 2.0% higher in December than a year ago.

The United Nations' signature COP26 climate conference will take place in Glasgow at the end of this year.

When they do, ministers will be under enormous pressure to agree to even more drastic climate-change measures.


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