In the face of China’s latest commitment to renewables, the EU is being urged to “act decisively” to stay ahead in the clean-energy race and cash in on its benefits. The warning comes as heads of state and government reaffirm their commitment to swiftly ratify the Paris Agreement and implement their pledges under the deal. But as China’s latest Five-Year plan reaffirms its commitment to cut CO2 intensity and boost renewables, Europe “risks losing its hard won leadership” by “refusing to increase their climate targets”. The huge benefits of renewables are more apparent than ever reports suggest clean energy is the easiest way to “reach the Paris Agreement”. As support for tougher EU targets grows, the pressure is now on leaders to “strengthen its climate targets and accelerate investment in clean infrastructure” in line with the Paris Agreement’s aim for a zero-emission future.
— E3G (@e3g) March 17, 2016
- Europe is being left behind in the renewables race. China is already investing over twice as much in clean energy than the EU, and plans to deploy three and a half times more wind and six times more solar in the next five years. With a target to generate 20 per cent of energy from clean sources, China could deploy 1,000 GW of zero emission power capacity to 2030. Europe’s targets meanwhile represent a deceleration of deployment.
- Renewables are essential to unlocking ambition. Europe played a key role in achieving a meaningful Paris agreement, but is expected to emit two billion tonnes more CO2 than it promised at the talks. As it looks to ratify the agreement, renewable and energy efficient policies are the best way to put the Paris climate goals within reach while cutting its fossil fuel dependency, reducing imports and securing supply.
- By putting the Paris Agreement in action, Europe would reap major benefits. Doubling renewables globally by 2030 could boost GDP by $1.3 trillion, create 24.4 million new jobs and save 4 million lives a year. If Europe were to support a zero-emission, 100 per cent renewable future, meanwhile, it could create 350,000 new jobs, prevent 40,000 premature deaths and save $140 billion in energy import costs.
- China plans to dominate clean tech race (EndsEurope)
- ‘As things stand, Europe will not be No. 1 in renewables for much longer’ (ReCharge)
- German-Polish spat threatened summit backing for Paris Agreement (EurActiv)
Tools and Resources
- Briefing: European Council conclusions on jobs, growth and competitiveness and on climate and energy (EU Council)
- Report: Pulling ahead on clean technology: China’s 13th Five-Year Plan challenges Europe’s low carbon competitiveness (E3G)
- Briefing: China plans to dominate clean tech race (E3G)
- Report: China’s 13th Five Year Plan: The clean technology revolution and its implications for Europe (Change Partnership)
- Press Release: China’s 13th Five Year Plan hints at stronger climate ambition (Greenpeace)
- Report: REmap (IRENA)
- Press Release: Doubling global share of renewable energy by 2030 can save trillions (IRENA)
- Blog: Doubling renewables can save trillions (IRENA)
- Graph: China vs EU, Investment (E3G)
- Graph: China vs EU, Deployment (E3G)
- Graph: China vs EU, R&D (E3G)
- “Twenty years ago Europeans were still teaching China how to draft environmental laws. Ten years ago Europe saw China just as a market for its green exports. Today, China is on the verge of dominating the global clean energy economy. The EU must act decisively to stay in the race.” – Nick Mabey, CEO of climate change think tank E3G
- “Europe risks losing its hard won leadership in the clean tech markets just as they begin to really take off after Paris. The EU must strengthen its climate targets, accelerate investment in clean infrastructure and deepen structural reforms to give its companies the platform to compete globally.” – Jonathan Gaventa, a Director at E3G
- “Europe seriously risks becoming a laggard on climate action. In 2015 China expanded renewable energy use like never before, while investments in renewables decreased in the EU. China’s willingness to act on climate with more ambitions stands in stark contrast to European leaders refusing to increase their climate targets.” – Bram Claeys, Political Advisor at the Greenpeace EU Unit
- EU Commission softens climate stance, all eyes turn to leaders
- EU under fire for ignoring Paris and backing gas
- EU Commission’s energy security plan ‘blind to renewables’
- Misuse of EU funds leaves Eastern countries hooked on fossil fuels
- RT @ClimateHome Ratify Paris pact ASAP, EU urges member states http://bit.ly/1pyteHA #climate #EUCO #eucouncil
- RT @e3g Poor EU 2030 targets require ‘slowdown’ of climate action #EUCO @RosiCook @jonathangaventa http://bit.ly/1Z9lTtX