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Jobs in renewable energy sector may hit 40M by 2050

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 11, 2020 | Last updated on January 11, 2020 at 08.56 pm

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Francesco La Camera and other dignitaries at the 10th Irena Assembly in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
(Photo by Ryan Lim)

Delegates at the 10th International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
(Photo by Ryan Lim)

Kirunda Kivejenja delivering a speech at the 10th International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
(Photo by Ryan Lim)

Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi speaking at the 10th International Renewable Energy Agency Assembly in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
(Photo by Ryan Lim)

Greater cooperationurged to find solutions to meet goals of UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Renewable energy sector jobs could reach 40 million by 2050 under a climate-safe energy scenario, according to a report presented at the 10th International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) Assembly in Abu Dhabi.

The report, titled Measuring the socio-economics of transition: Focus on jobs, underlined that total energy sector employment can reach 100 million by 2050, up from around 58 million today, should the international community utilise its full renewable energy potential.

Uganda's Second Deputy Prime Minister Kirunda Kivejinja, who was named Irena's new president, said: "Today, renewables are providing solutions to many challenges. It's creating jobs, driving industrialisation and service sector development, and reducing inadequacies in rural areas."

The report noted the energy transition will impact employment at both global and regional levels. The analysis highlights the potential of regional disparities in job creation with job gains in some parts of the world outpacing losses in others. The identification of policies to balance the impact of the transition while maximising the socioeconomic opportunities are noted as the key.

Irena director-general Francesco La Camera stressed on the importance of the agency's work to understand the socioeconomic benefits associated with the energy transition. "Everybody is talking about a just transition but not many know how to make it happen. We all have to work on this subject to present a clear voice that supports an inclusive transition," he said.

'We can solve all problems'

Meanwhile, Kivejinja urged greater cooperation to find solutions to meet the goals of UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. "If we focus on one thing, then it is possible to solve our problems. If we are together, we can solve our problems."

He underlined Irena as an 'important platform' for the world to focus on renewable energy.

"To curb the impact of climate change, progress on renewable energy is vital. Renewable energy will enable us advance our key development priorities, including agriculture, food security, human health and gender sensitive programmes."

He said Irena has become a leading international organisation with central role in development of renewable energy.

"Your assembly opens a momentous year in the fight against climate change. I call on governments to push for innovation and move investments to renewables. I encourage Irena to scale-up renewables in all sectors."

Irena's outgoing president Li Fanrong added: "Together we will face the challenges of climate change and help people live under clear skies and blue water."

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, noted that the UAE has made tremendous achievements and raised its renewable capacity with new agreements with other countries. He pointed out that last year three climate-resilient solar power projects in the Bahamas, Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were launched. "This was as per our partnership with the Caribbean countries," he added.

'New geopolitical reality'

Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi, assistant under-secretary for electricity and future energy at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry, on a report on geopolitics, said: "As countries increasingly deploy renewables, a new geopolitical reality is taking shape. The global energy transformation offers opportunities to foster greater energy independence, configure a new geography of trade and promoting growth and employment."

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, emphasised that the UAE is a global role model in sustainable development, in light of its significant global efforts in sharing renewable energy solutions across the world.

Regarding projects carried out and funded by the UAE worldwide, he said: "The UAE exerts significant efforts, and is a role model in this regard. The UAE's support is not limited to a specific region, but includes many regions of the world, such as in the Caribbean and Pacific countries."

Muhammad-Bande stressed on multi-fold increase in investments to achieve energy efficiency. "To fulfill the Paris agreement of climate change will require deploying renewable energy six times faster than the current rate," he said.

Decision-makers from 150 countries and more than 1,500 delegates are in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy and advance the global energy transformation.

- ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

Ashwani Kumar


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