Paris deal hailed as dawn of renewable future



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World leaders, industry groups and campaigners hailed the dawn of the clean energy era after 195 countries signed an agreement to take positive action on global warming – a deal with huge implications for the renewables industry.

The COP21 summit in Paris ended with a commitment to work towards keeping the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees C compared to pre-industrial levels, with a push to go further for 1.5 degrees C.

After two weeks of negotiations there was also a pledge on climate funding of $100bn for developing nations and five-year reviews of progress.

Steve Sawyer, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council, said: “Paris represents a $15trn opportunity for the clean energy industry, ushering in the biggest transformation of the global economy since the industrial revolution.

“The very ambitious goals in the text now need to be matched with deeds. The agreement itself doesn’t change anything overnight, but it establishes a solid framework and a ‘floor’ upon which we must build.”

Sawyer added: “Thousands of business executives gathered in Paris were already convinced that renewables are the future; they now have a strong, positive signal, and will move much faster than governments to bring about the clean energy revolution necessary to protect the climate.”

Oliver Schafer, president of industry body SolarPower Europe said: “We commend world leaders for the ambitious pledges made, which is sure to accelerate deployment of solar and boost investor confidence, sending a strong message that the low-carbon economy is real and already well underway.