PARIS: Fossil fuels have held their share of the energy mix over the past decade, a report published on Tuesday found, despite a drop in the cost of electricity from renewable wind and solar.

Coal, oil and gas — fossil fuels which are the main cause of global warming, accounted for 80.2 percent of final energy consumption in 2019, according to a report by the REN21 think tank. That compared with 80.3 percent in 2009.

That doesn’t mean renewables didn’t increase: they rose by almost five percent per year. The share of modern renewables such as wind and solar power in final energy consumption rose from from 8.7 to 11.2 percent.

But consumption of fossil fuels also rose in absolute terms.

The think tank noted that while a growing number of countries have set net zero carbon emissions targets, pandemic recovery programmes have chosen fossil fuels over renewables.

“Following announcements of funding for a green economic recovery, taking public spending to levels higher than the Marshall Plan after World War II, 2020 should have been the year when the world pushed the reset button for the global climate economy and renewables,” the group said in a statement accompanying the report.

“Instead of driving transformation, recovery packages provide six times more investment to fossil fuels than to renewable energy ... despite all the promises made during the Covid-19 crisis,” it added.

The think tank’s chief, Rana Adib, said the fact that at $555 billion, fossil fuel subsidies in 2019 were double the amount of green energy investment belied governmental promises of climate action.

Considerable progress is being made in the electricity sector, where 356 gigawatts of renewable production were added in 2020, beating the previous record by nearly 30 percent.

In a growing number of areas, including in parts of China, the EU, United States and India, it is already cheaper to build new solar or wind farms than continue to use existing coal facilities, noted REN21.

“Governments shouldn’t be satisfied with supporting renewable energy but quickly shutting down fossil fuel power plants,” said Adib.

She urged countries to adopt energy performance targets to accelerate the transition to renewables.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2021

Opinion

A fragmenting ummah
21 Jul 2021

A fragmenting ummah

A recounting of Muslims who are suffering and of Muslims who are inflicting suffering is an apt exercise for all Muslims as they
Virtual vultures
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Virtual vultures

Pegasus software has stirred a storm of indignation across the globe.
Shifting goalposts
Updated 20 Jul 2021

Shifting goalposts

Afghanistan is one place where proxy war by regional and bigger powers has always been a constant.

Editorial

India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
21 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

EUROPEAN states have long professed a commitment to the separation of church and state, as well as allowing people ...
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.
New blow for Pak-Afghan ties
Updated 20 Jul 2021

New blow for Pak-Afghan ties

Islamabad police need to build a watertight case around their final conclusions because the stakes could not have been higher.
20 Jul 2021

FDI decline

THE worrisome, sharp decline in the more permanent, non-debt-creating foreign direct investment, or FDI, should be a...
20 Jul 2021

Another tragic accident

ALMOST every other week, if not every other day, newspapers report deadly road and rail accidents. It has been ...