Energy Sector Transformation: Issues and Options for the UNFCCC Negotiations

Energy Sector Transformation: Issues and Options for the UNFCCC Negotiations

This paper argues that demand for energy services will continue to grow to fuel economic growth and social development, so deep cuts in emissions globally will not be possible without transforming the way energy is supplied and consumed. It argues that immediate action is needed on two fronts: to implement options that are available today for more efficient energy use and low-emissions supply, and to put in place the conditions for longer-term structural changes to more efficient and low-emissions energy systems.

A new climate agreement is being negotiated under the UNFCCC, to apply from 2020. This paper explores three elements of how this agreement, along with the “nationally determined contributions” that Parties take under it, could encourage transformative energy sector policies and actions: 1) Sending long-term policy signals to underpin long-lived investments in energy systems. 2) Mobilising non-climate and sub-national objectives to enhance emissions reduction outcomes. 3) Accelerating development of key clean energy technologies.

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