As negotiators hammered out the details of the new global climate agreement, renewable energy leaders were present in Paris en masse, developing alliances and partnerships to continue building a new energy economy based on renewable energy.
For the first time at a UN climate conference, renewable energy took center stage during the so-called “renewable energy track.” Dozens of events were held, culminating with Energy Day on December 7 in the context of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda. As one participant noted, “the negotiations are focused on the problems of climate change; here in this room we’re dealing with solutions.”
There was a red thread that ran through every discussion, and it was confirmed by virtually every speaker from the renewable industry, leading businesses, and governments (rich and poor alike): renewable energy is the preferred choice, here and now. It is reliable and cost-competitive: good for the climate, good for jobs and good for communities.
Take RE100, for example, a global business initiative whose members have committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewables. Fifty three of some of the world’s largest companies are now participating, with more coming on board all the time. Google, one of the latest to join, accompanied its announcement with “the largest, and most diverse, purchase of renewable energy ever made by a non-utility company.” Their reason for doing so? “These contracts not only help minimize the environmental impact of our service–they also make good business sense by ensuring good prices.”