The energy sector is responsible for 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is inextricably linked with human well-being and the health of our planet. Shifting the energy system away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy is critical for fighting climate change and building a sustainable, low-carbon future for all.

Generating energy takes a huge toll on climate. The power sector is responsible for 25% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, largely due to the world’s continued reliance on fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels also impacts human health; in addition to contributing to extreme weather events such as prolonged heat spikes that put lives at risk, roughly 2 million people each year die due to long-term exposure to fine particles emitted as a result of fuel combustion. Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require the creation of a new net-zero economy that provides benefits for people and nature. To do this, the world needs to triple the amount of renewable energy in the mix and reduce power generation from fossil fuels.

Most countries in the world have committed to the global goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 - a target recognized as necessary to meet the Paris Agreement climate goals of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius while pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Solar and wind investments are growing at unprecedented rates, but we need to build on that momentum to create the massive renewable and energy storage capacity required for a clean energy economy and to ensure the investments reach all corners of the world. 

WRI works with national and local governments, regulators and utilities, financial institutions and investors, technology providers and other partners to strengthen policy frameworks and markets for the rapid deployment of clean energy technologies, grid infrastructure and EV charging solutions.

Our work includes development of new research, technical assistance and strategic guidance on issues including financing, integrating renewables into electric grids, addressing market barriers to adopting clean energy and developing new models for renewable energy procurement.


Cover image by Nguyen Quang Ngoc Tonkin/Shutterstock