Countries have an opportunity to significantly increase renewable energy ambition within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and to accelerate its deployment in line with climate objectives under the Paris Agreement, per a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The report found that current NDCs and energy strategies can be substantially enhanced to meet global climate objectives. Entitled ‘Untapped Potential for Climate Action: Renewable Energy in Nationally Determined Contributions’, the report also identifies that renewable energy already targeted within national energy strategies often exceeds renewable energy capacity currently envisaged under NDCs.

Renewable energy deployment levels under current NDCs would bring online 80GW of renewable energy capacity globally each year, between 2015 – 2030. However, the current pace of deployment has seen countries install 125GW of new renewable energy capacity on average annually between 2010 and 2016, suggesting that NDCs can better reflect the global energy transition. The report highlights that a more integrated approach would send a clearer message to the global investment community willing to invest in this sector.

As part of a mechanism built into the Paris Agreement, countries are required to update or submit new NDCs over time, each of which is designed to be progressively more ambitious than the last. With the second round of NDCs due in 2020, a ‘Facilitative Dialogue’ is set to start in 2018, during which Parties will take stock of initial progress toward the collective goals in the Agreement.

Furthermore, while the power sector emissions are addressed in most NDCs, significant carbon reductions in end uses of energy (mobility, heating and cooling) are needed to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The use of renewable energy in other sectors of the economy such as transport, industry and residential buildings can also support increased ambition.

IRENA also announced the establishment of a new facility focused on providing strategic planning and technical support to countries to raise achievable renewable energy ambitions under their NDCs.