Climate Talks: UN must engage in global renewable energy uptake to reduce carbon emissions

Press release – for immediate release

Warsaw, Poland, November 19th: The World Future Council today called upon the United Nations to take an active role in accelerating the transformation of the national energy sectors if they are serious about reaching global carbon emissions reductions. At the UN climate talks in Warsaw, the WFC launched a report which proposes a renewable energy funding mechanism within the newly established Green Climate Fund (GCF) of the UN. The GCF aims to channel financial resources from industrialised countries to developing countries in order to support the development, transfer and deployment at scale of low-carbon power generation. The proposal of the World Future Council would empower developing countries to link sound renewable energy policies such as feed-in tariffs (REFITS) with the GCF ensuring security for renewable energy investments.

“Various countries witness an astonishing global uptake of renewable energies and a massive decline of associated costs due to successful national renewable energy policies”, says Stefan Schurig, Director Climate Energy of the World Future Council (WFC) in Warsaw. “We need to build on these success-stories and employ policies that have proved successful. The GCF, as the future number one international funding mechanism on climate change, therefore needs to be compatible with national renewable energy policies.”

According to the new report, which was lead-authored by the scientist Axel Michaelowa, the current GCF design is not sufficient in ensuring that funding is being used in the most efficient way. The World Future Council suggests the establishment of a “REFIT facility” within the GCF that would provide financial payments only in combination with a national feed-in tariff policy in order to ensure that financial resources are truly mitigating climate change. The WFC also proposes an international REFIT committee overseeing the evaluation and distribution of funding needed by developing countries. Even in a medium-sized country, a REFIT can trigger very large renewable energy investments on a Gigawatt scale.

The WFC proposal shows that the Green Climate Fund has great potential to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy in developing countries on the condition that it is coherent with national policy frameworks. As the key principle of the GCF should be to provide funds only against performance, national feed-in tariffs are the ideal tool to complement the GCF.

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The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.