IRENA Pitches For a Green Recovery Path from Covid-19

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), under its Coalition for Action initiative, has made a pitch for ensuring that steps taken to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide are green. The 100 Member coalition of renewable energy players has given a concrete action plan that seeks to ensure a rapid and sustained economic recovery that aligns with climate and sustainability objectives.

During a webinar organised by IRENA, Coalition for Action members brainstormed and came out with a set of recommendations.

Coalition for Action Key Messages

In the development of immediate response measures to the COVID-19 emergency, Coalition for Action members are calling on governments to:

  • Revisit deadlines for renewable energy projects that face contractual obligations for near-term delivery.
  • Designate the renewable energy industry and related infrastructure as a critical and essential sector.
  • Affirm and extend policies promoting renewable energy solutions, both centralised and decentralised.

In considering the stimulus packages needed for rapid and sustained economic recovery, Coalition for Action members recommend that governments:

  • Prioritise renewable energy in any stimulus measures and commit to phasing out support for fossil fuels.
  • Provide public financial support to safeguard the industry and mobilise private investment in renewable energy.
  • Enhance the role of renewable energy in industrial policies.
  • Revise labour and education policies to foster a just transition and help workers make the shift into renewable energy jobs.
  • Strengthen international co-operation and action to accelerate renewable energy deployment in line with global climate and sustainability objectives.

The measures make sense at a time when the role of dependable energy supply during global emergencies has come to the front. In India too, there is a strong case for the government to consider how to provide power needs of critical healthcare, water & food supply services through renewable energy, especially outside urban clusters.