Newsletter – December 2019
In this issue
I’m back from COP. As every year, I’m wondering how to keep up the good spirit. This year is even worse: 2020, the critical year to raise ambition on the governments side, starts in two weeks. Many of our elected leaders don’t take their leadership role seriously and seem to continuously ignore the solutions that exist and just need to be implemented (obviously, I refer to energy efficiency and renewables).
Saturday night, exhausted, I joined my partner who had started watching a movie, ‘The Best Of Enemies.’ Here is the story: 1971, Durham, North Carolina, Bill Riddick arranges charettes-meetings* for Durham residents to tackle desegregation. The concept of these meetings is that all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions. Civil rights activist Ann Atwater and Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis don’t want to join the steering committee at first. When they finally get involved, they rival, meet, and come to realise that they are not at the core so different. By engaging and leaving their comfort zones, in a coordinated space for doing so, and with empathy, they bring change to Durham. School segregation stops thanks to the Charettes.
It was unexpected, but after this movie I have hope again. I realise that this story is not very different from our ‘fight’ for renewables, against fossil fuels, for the climate. And not only this story. Fighting for change, fighting against change, fighting each other, has always been part of our history. Examples, where change has happened regardless are numerous. This is “the normal.” And this is why we need to continue. These ‘stories’ can inspire. They tell us that we are able to drive change and change the way we think, feel, and act. They can teach us how to be more strategic and convince many more to engage. This story also shows us that we need to continue in a different way. To drive the transition to renewable energy, we need to involve different players around the table, involving our opponents, without being afraid.
In Madrid, I heard numerous times that we need new forms of collaboration, stronger integration, a different form governance. We also heard (with my special thanks to Gonzalo Muñoz, the COP25 High-Level Champion) that we are living a crisis of empathy. I suggest to add to this list exploring new ways to meet and creating spaces to design the future.
In this sense I look forward to a new year in which we all step out of our comfort zone (at least once a week) and try to slip into someone else’s point of view (even our worst opponent), just for a moment.
I look forward to share this endeavor with all of you and send you hopeful wishes for the next year.
Executive Secretary, REN21
P.S. In French, “être charette” means being late or close to a deadline. What better topic could I use in my last editorial before 2020.
* Charrettes are collaborative sessions that serve as a way of quickly generating a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. The general idea of a charrette is to create an innovative atmosphere in which a diverse group of stakeholders can collaborate to “generate visions for the future” (Wikipedia)
News from the REN21 Secretariat
Renewables in Cities Global Status Report – Launched
REN21’s first Renewables in Cities Global Status Report (REC-GSR) was launched 26 November. This latest REN21 report provides an overview of cities’ progress in contributing to the renewable energy transition and includes chapters on drivers for renewable energy in cities, urban policy, urban renewable energy markets, finance and citizen participation.
Ready, Set, Review! GSR 2020
The first set of chapters of the Renewables 2020 Global Status Report will soon be ready for review. Reviewers will be invited to comment on the following:
— Policy Landscape and data tables
— Energy Efficiency
— Systems Integration & Enabling Technologies
— Distributed Renewables for Energy Access (DREA)
— DREA dataset, in collaboration with IRENA
The peer review will take place 13-26 January 2020. All reviewers will be acknowledged in the final report. Please save the date!
Should you wish to contribute and are NEW to this process, please complete the following Expression of Interest Form so we can include you in the process.
Thank You to All Who Contributed to KIREC – Seoul 2019
With over 2000 participants, 30 sessions and 22 side events, the 8th edition of the International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC), held in Seoul from 22-26 October, was a great success.
A big thank you to our speakers, participants and our entire community who convened in Seoul for the conference. We were heartened to see the forward-moving energy, exchange and discussion that took place. A summary of the event, quotes, photos and activities from each day can be found on our site.
Read the Asia and the Pacific Renewables Energy Status Report
We are happy to announce that the 2019 Asia and the Pacific Renewable Energy Status Report is now available! The report was launched 22 October, at KIREC. This report provides a comprehensive overview of renewable energy developments in the world’s largest and fastest growing region, with a spotlight on 18 countries.
The full report can be accessed here.
REN21 at COP25
Our focus for this COP was to engage with different players around the role of cities in driving the energy transition. We took the opportunity to meet with our network to talk about new developments and to present key findings from our newly launched Renewables in Cities Global Status Report.
You can read a summary of our activities at COP25 here.
We Want You!
REN21 is on the hunt for an organised and dynamic Administrative and Office Manager to join our growing team in Paris, starting in early 2020. We are looking for someone with a service spirit and problem-solving attitude, with experience in administrative management in an international setting.
The candidate must be German-English bilingual, and ideally fluent in French as well. Come join us if you want to be part of our international team passionate about a renewable energy future. Check out the job listing here and apply by January 5!