U.N. Report: Renewables Can Kick-Start Green Economy, Lessen Poverty

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Wind power and other renewables can play a significant role in a new global green economy while also helping mitigate climate change between now and 2050, according to a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the European Wind Energy Association reports.

The 624-page report notes that investing 2% of global gross domestic product (GDP) into the key sectors ‘can kick-start a transition toward a low-carbon, resource- efficient green economy’ that replaces the ‘existing resource-depleting, high-carbon 'brown' economy’ by mid-century.

The report, titled ‘Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication,’ notes that 2% of global GDP currently represents about 950 billion euros a year, and that more than 263 billion euros should be spent on greening energy supply.

Investing approximately 1.25% of global GDP each year in energy efficiency and renewable energies could cut global primary energy demand by 9% in 2020 and close to 40% by 2050, according to the report.

The report also notes that substituting investments in carbon-intensive energy sources with investments in clean energy could increase the penetration rate of renewables to 27% of total primary energy demand by 2050.

Under a green economy scenario, the capacity of power generation from wind could reach 1,515 GW by 2050, the report notes, and adding wind power and other renewables could account for 45% of total electricity generation by mid-century.

SOURCE: European Wind Energy Association

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