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COP21 climate talks in Paris kick off

30.11.2015

Starting today in Paris, governments have started negotiations to conclude a new global climate agreement that will create a pathway for long-term decarbonisation. Over 150 world leaders, diplomats from 196 nations, 3000 journalists and representatives from intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, business, NGOs and civil society are present. In total, some 40.000 participants have descended on the French capital to take part in COP21, the climate change conference which officially runs until 11 December.

More than ever, swift action to fundamentally transform national energy systems and scale-up investments in renewable energy is essential. The power sector is the largest single contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Action here can make global emissions peak and, then, decline. While urging policymakers to act, the latest IPCC Synthesis Report has stated clearly that the technologies to decarbonise power systems are available. It also highlighted that it is cheaper and much more cost-effective to accelerate the energy transition instead of delaying action. Wind energy, the most efficient solution to emission reductions in the power sector, demonstrates that combining decarbonisation and economic growth is entirely feasible.

A new global climate agreement to be concluded in Paris in 2015 could mark the start of a fundamental transition in the power sector. As the largest single contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, national energy systems are expected to undergo transition which will require large investments in renewable energy.

In many countries across the world, wind energy is already providing affordable and clean energy to homes and businesses. With an ambitious COP21 agreement, more nations will start down a path towards a renewable energy supply when they implement their climate pledges.

An energy transition, in particular in some developing economies, offers enormous opportunities to the wind energy industry. Already now, emerging economies such as China and Brazil are building wind farms on a massive scale to fuel their economic growth with clean and competitive power. When countries start transposing climate pledges into national policies, investments in existing markets can be ramped up and new markets created. In that sense, the climate pledges submitted by nations could be seen as investment prospectuses: which country is serious about transforming its power sector.

This is a significant opportunity for the wind industry. EWEA will therefore take an active role at COP21 in engaging with all relevant parties to promote the transition to a zero-carbon power sector as a key solution to climate change mitigation. There is a strong economic rationale for early action, the industry therefore finds a great platform to call on political leaders to recognise the availability of key climate solutions such as wind energy.

One of its main activities is speaking at and participating in the various events that are organised throughout the two weeks. Moreover, EWEA’s delegation will be present at high-level events, such as the RE-Energising the Future event on 6 December, that will be opened by Francois Hollande, Ban Ki Moon and Jean Claude Juncker. EWEA will make the best use of its presence to reach out to international organisations and corporate stakeholders and establish new relations in light of the implementation of national climate pledges. Last but not least, EWEA is organising its very own side-event on Saturday 5 December, where various COP21 participants will discuss the global transition to renewable power and the creation of long-term investment programs.

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