Renewable energy could provide 95% of the world's electricity by 2050, according to a comprehensive plan published today by Greenpeace and
the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).
The report, "Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook", provides a detailed blueprint for cutting carbon emissions while achieving economic growth by replacing
fossil fuels with renewable energy and energy efficiency. This phase-out of fossil fuels offers
substantial benefits such as energy security, independence from world market fuel prices as well
as the creation of millions of new green jobs.
“Our Energy Revolution scenario shows how to eliminate unpredictable fossil fuel costs,
destructive mining and oil exploration and with it catastrophes such as the current BP Gulf oil
spill,” said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International’s Senior Energy Expert and co-author of the
report. “Investing in people, rather than dirty and dangerous fossil fuels not only boosts global
economic development but stems catastrophic climate change.”
The Energy [R]evolution scenario shows how to create about 12 million jobs, that is 8.5 million in
the renewables sector alone, by 2030. Under business as usual global renewable energy jobs
would be only 2.4 million of the global power sector’s 8.7 million jobs.
By implementing the
Energy [R]evolution 3.2 million or over 33% more jobs globally will be created in the power sector, the groups say.
"While many additional ‘Just Transition’ policies will be needed to ensure workers will reap the
benefits of a new low-carbon economy -skills, social protection, quality of jobs; the Energy
Revolution report introduces ideas to scale up investments in renewable
energies, something crucial if we want to fight future unemployment in the energy sector and
avoid the poorest of the planet, whose jobs depend on natural resources, paying the costs of
business-as-usual" said Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Trade Union
The sustainable future of the planet is rooted in the investment in people and local communities
who can install and maintain renewable energy sources, rather than further subsidising dirty and
finite fossil fuels. The overall annual market for renewable technology will increase from around
US$100 billion today, to more than US$600 billion by 2030.
Key to making the Energy [R]evolution a reality is creating a system in which investment costs
are shared fairly under a global climate regime. One such mechanism, discussed in the report, is
the Greenhouse Development Rights framework (GDR) which calculates national shares of
global greenhouse gas obligations based on a combination of responsibility (contribution to
climate change) and capacity (ability to pay).
“The 2010 Energy Revolution report outlines pathways towards a 100% renewable energy supply
for the world. It demonstrates that there is no technological barrier to achieving this vision and
reaping its many benefits in terms of the environment and jobs. The barrier is political. All that is
now needed to set sustainable energy future for our planet is the political will,” said Christine Lins,
Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).
Global CO2 emissions under the Energy [R]evolution scenario would peak in 2015 and drop
afterwards. Compared with 1990 CO2 emissions will be more than 80% lower by 2050 if the
energy supply is based almost entirely on renewable energies. By 2050 around 95% of electricity
could be produced by renewable energy.
Copies of the “Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook” report can be
downloaded at the link below.