Wind industry demands action from world leaders ahead of COP26 climate summit

More than 90 wind energy companies and associations from around the world called on leaders to take decisive action in pursuit of net-zero carbon emissions goals ahead of the COP26 United Nations climate summit next month.

Vestas, Siemens-Gamesa, Goldwind, Enel, and EDP Renewables are among the signatories of a manifesto by the wind energy sector that was released at the BNEF London summit, led by the Global Wind Energy Council.

“Governments must respond decisively to the current climate emergency to ensure a viable future for current and future generations,” GWEC CEO Ben Backwell said. “Achieving a rapid transition from fossil fuels is a key part of the solution.”

The group said that current growth rates of wind energy installations are falling behind net-zero goals — a pace that puts the world on track for 43% of the wind required by 2050, based on projections by the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency.

In the manifesto, the companies and industry advocates listed eight action items for world leaders, including:

Increase wind power ambition
Commit to rapid phase out of coal
 Design and implement energy markets for the future
Implement streamlined permitting schemes for renewables
Initiate plans to rapidly build out clean energy grids and charging stations for electric vehicles
Develop cohesive and inclusive policies which dedicate public resource to the people-centered shift to a net zero economy
Align national and regional finance flows with benchmarks for a net zero pathway
Advance voluntary cooperation on carbon pricing

“We already have the tools and the technology we need to tackle climate change,” said Rebecca Williams, director of COP26 at the GWEC. “What we don’t have yet is the unprecedented political will we need to make this happen.”

Last week, the IEA called for “unmistakable” action by world leaders to reduce emissions ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Conference, warning that the global transition to renewable energy isn’t happening quickly enough to meet net-zero goals.

The IEA has released its World Energy Outlook 2021 which details a global rebound in coal and oil use in 2021, as well as the second-largest annual increase in CO2 emissions in history. The IEA analyzed current government net-zero emissions pledges, finding demand for fossil fuels would peak by 2025 and global CO2 emissions would fall by 40% by 2050.

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