Renewable policy ‘erratic’

Think tank REN21 has expressed fears over a coherent renewable energy programme, saying that polices are ‘erratic’ and holding the sector back from its potential contribution to cutting carbon pollution and meeting climate and development targets.

REN21’s 2019 Global Status Report (GSR) confirms that for the fourth consecutive year, more renewable power capacity was installed than fossil fuel and nuclear power combined – 100GW of solar PV alone was added in 2018 – but a lack of sustained policies have meant that the benefits of the transition have been lost.

“A key breakthrough could occur if countries cut their fossil fuel subsidies which are propping up dirty energy,” said Rana Adib, executive secretary, REN21.

According to REN 21, forty countries have undertaken some level of fossil fuel subsidy reform since 2015, but these subsidies continued to exist in 112 countries in 2017, with at least 73 countries providing subsidies of over $100m each. Estimated total global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption were $300bn in 2017, an 11 per cent increase from 2016.

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