United Nations Environmental Programme
Renewable energy is an essential source of energy for the world because it allows people to be provided with electricity without harming the planet by emitting fossil fuels which is largely contributing to climate change. The UNEP has found that there are currently around one billion people who do not have access to any kind of electricity, and the people who do usually choose the cheap option that involves cutting down trees to burn wood for energy. Unfortunately, climate change negatively impacts people in poverty the most and they are the ones who usually don’t even have access to electricity. The United Nations established a goal of “Affordable and Clean Energy” in the Sustainable Development Goal, hoped to be achieved by the year 2030. Additionally, they made an agreement called The 2016 Paris Agreements which set goals for relying more on renewable energy like wind, water, and solar to fuel electricity in the world instead of relying on fossil fuels. Other committees in the United Nations have taken action to reduce the impacts of climate change. The UNDP encourages governments to to transform their renewable energy markets by strengthening investment in new technologies.
Portugal plays a major role in improving renewable energy and continues to reduce the cost and make it more available to everyone. Portugal is one of the leading countries in producing renewable energy from wind, water, and thermal power. The Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests in Portugal established regulations on vehicles and machines that harm the environment; there is a law in place to have a license to own these machines, and they are regularly checked. Many investments have been made in Portugal to increase the production of renewable energy. An organization called the Portugese Renewable Energy Association (APREN) , who works with the government, produces 90% of the renewable energy in Portugal. Because of their efforts to make it available to more people the cost of renewable energy is now much lower; the price has dropped from 43.94 €/MWh(megawatt) to 39.75 €/MWh.The APREN also works with other European countries in the EU to bring affordable renewable energy to all Europeans, they have collected data that says in portugal wind energy and hydroelectric power make up more than 50% of all electricity generated in Portugal. It is important to get other countries to make the same improvements as Portugal.
Portugal suggests that the UNEP requires countries to set regulations on what machines are used to avoid worsening pollution in the future. Organizations, like APREN, should be established in all countries to raise money and produce renewable energy resources to be distributed. The establishment of organizations like this will reduce the prices of renewable energy and make it more available to everyone. Additionally, funds should be donated to poorer countries like Sub-Saharan Africa, which is contributing to half of the one billion people without functioning electricity, so that these countries can have access to this cheaper, cleaner energy. If renewable energy can become affordable and accessible to the whole world, then the risk of climate change will be significantly reduced, and it won’t have harmful effects on poorer populations.
- Rachel Verbrugge