Between 2000 and 2013, Germany documented the effects of its implementation of renewable energy, and found the following:
- By 2012, greenhouse gas emissions had dropped by 148 million tonnes;
- In 2012 alone, 40 million tons of coal, 12 billion cubic metres of gas and 8 million litres of oil, diesel and gas were saved.
- In 2011, avoided fossil fuel imports totalled 6.6 billion euros, with the greatest savings in the power sector. By 2012, the fossil fuel cost savings were just over 10 billion euros, with the heating sector surpassing the power sector by one billion euros.
New technologies also open up market opportunities and create new jobs. It is estimated that between 2004 and 2014, employment in the renewables sector doubled, from about three million jobs in 2004 to 6.5 million in 2014.
In 2013, renewables supplied about 19 per cent of the world’s energy consumption, highlighting both the progress and the potential for greater financial and economic savings, as well as more jobs.
The 1 Gigaton Coalition is a voluntary international framework, with participation open to both developed and developing countries as well as to intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and civil society. UNEP will coordinate the collection of data, produce an annual report, and together with partners will develop a Measurement, Reporting and Verification methodology that is aligned with the requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“This year, governments engaged in the UNFCCC climate talks have looked closely at energy efficiency and renewable energy as two key areas with the greatest potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions before 2020, when the new, universal climate change agreement slated for Paris 2015 will take effect,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
“We have seen a groundswell of climate action building, including at this year’s UN Climate Summit in New York, which featured many new climate action announcements related to renewable energy and energy efficiency,” she added. “The coalition announced today lends credible confidence to governments as they prepare to submit their contributions to the 2015 Paris Agreement and design a crucial, long-term response to the challenge of climate change.”