Global wind industry unites to address climate emergency ahead of COP26

Source: press release, 31 March 2021

illustration: GWEC
illustration: GWEC

Wind energy corporates and associations from around the world have launched the Global Wind Energy Coalition for COP26. Convened by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the voice of the global wind industry and RenewableUK (RUK), the wind energy trade association for the UK, the Global Wind Energy Coalition will carry out a series of activities to help governments, economies and communities to raise ambition and remove barriers to the massive scaling up in investments in wind power in order to reach Net Zero targets and stop dangerous global warming.

The wind industry’s global campaign on the road to COP26 will include:

  • A campaign to highlight the essential role of wind power on the road to net zero, including a website populated with resources and materials to help amplify the voice of the global wind industry in the run-up to COP26.
  • Intensified engagement with policymakers in key onshore and offshore wind markets to create wind energy acceleration plans, including more ambitious capacity targets and sensible regulation for project development.
  • Cross-sector collaboration with other technologies and heavy industries, with concrete joint commitments that work towards system-wide decarbonisation in a global renewable energy alliance.
  • A global Sprint for Offshore Wind Ambition to support governments across the world in setting concrete targets which can deliver the global 1,400 GW target by 2050 set by the Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition.
  • The creation of a ‘Global Wind Energy Hub’ at COP26 in Glasgow, UK, providing a platform for the wind industry to host events, meetings and other activities throughout the conference to engage with key policymakers and stakeholders.

The associations’ efforts will be supported by global leaders in the wind industry including Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Ørsted, Mainstream Renewable Power, SSE Renewables, RWE, GE Renewable Energy, Glennmont Partners, Aker Offshore Wind and Principle Power. The campaign is also supported by national and regional associations from across the world, including WindEurope, the Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA), the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA), the American Clean Power Association (ACP), the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEólica).

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC comments, “2021 will be a decisive year in the world’s fight to head of catastrophic climate change, and COP26 in Glasgow will be a key platform to ramp up our efforts to decarbonise our world at the pace which is necessary. As the clean energy technology providing the highest amount of decarbonisation per MW and almost unlimited potential, it is crucial that the global wind industry unites to highlight the essential role wind power will need to play in the Race to Zero.”

Rebecca Williams, Head of Policy at Renewable UK and incoming COP26 Director at GWEC adds, “The UK is a leader in offshore wind, and the technology has been crucial in meeting the country’s decarbonisation goals. As the host of this year’s COP conference, it is the perfect moment to highlight the key role of offshore wind to meet the world’s decarbonisation targets, leveraging the vast expertise from the UK market. Over the next few months, we will work closely with policymakers in countries with high potential for offshore wind to increase their ambitions and put countries on the right path to build out their offshore wind markets as an essential solution to achieve their NDC’s.”

The corporate and association supporters of this campaign will also work together to build coalitions with policymakers, communities, the private sector, business and the financial sector to make recommendations for critical challenges to the global energy transition, including: climate finance mechanisms for emerging economies; public and private sector responses to enact a just transition from fossil fuels dependency to clean energy, including alternative employment opportunities in the wind sector; and clear and credible frameworks for carbon pricing which recognise the societal cost of greenhouse gas emissions.