Why Co-Benefits?

The global transition to renewable sources of energy is in full swing. The renewable energy sector is now attracting substantially greater investment flows than its fossil-based counterpart, with a record investment volume of roughly US$ 360 billion in 2015.

More than any­thing else, the social and eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties pre­sent­ed by this trans­for­ma­tion have spurred the growth of renew­able ener­gy gen­er­a­tion in many countries.
These so-called co-ben­e­fits of cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion include local eco­nom­ic val­ue cre­ation, new employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, clean­er air, access to afford­able ener­gy, and rur­al development.

Giv­en their capac­i­ty to incen­tivise gov­ern­ments to imple­ment sus­tain­able, cli­mate-friend­ly ener­gy poli­cies, co-ben­e­fits will play an impor­tant role in efforts to advance cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion poli­cies. Thor­ough and deter­mined action at the local, nation­al, and inter­na­tion­al lev­els is need­ed to ensure that ade­quate mea­sures to pro­tect the cli­mate are implemented.

Con­se­quent­ly, the mem­ber states of the Unit­ed Nation Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC) have adopt­ed ambi­tious goals under the Paris Agree­ment with the aim of chang­ing their devel­op­ment tra­jec­to­ries and ensur­ing that glob­al warm­ing is lim­it­ed to well below 2°C above pre-indus­tri­al lev­els. In doing so, they have set the world on a path­way towards sus­tain­able development.
In order to achieve this, the par­ties to the Paris Agree­ment have adopt­ed so-called Nation­al­ly Deter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions (NDCs), out­lin­ing the cli­mate actions they intend to imple­ment over a five-year peri­od. NDCs link efforts to pro­mote renew­able ener­gies with oth­er devel­op­ment tar­gets such as the Unit­ed Nations sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals (SDGs).