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GWEC Industry Statement on Stimulus and a Green Economic Recover


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Wind power is a key building block for economic recoveryfrom the impact of COVID-19, which will enablegovernments to renew critical infrastructure for asustainable future. The wind industry will help to deliver thejobs, clean and affordable power and energy securityneeded for a sustainable economic recovery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold suffering and created an unprecedented
economic and social challenge for the world. Countries and communities are facing economiccontractions, with surging unemployment, disruptions to capital flows, and growing debt burdens.

Governments and financial institutions are doing their best to respond. While rightlyfocusing on fighting the pandemic and safeguarding their citizens, policy makers across the worldare starting to plan for economic recovery. Estimates of stimulus packages that have alreadybeen launched or announced are in excess of (USD) $10 trillion globally.

The lasting impact of COVID-19 and the pace of global recovery will depend on the actions thatwe alltake over the coming months. To achieve a sustainable and lasting economic recovery,these actions should focus on long-term impacts as well as the short-term need to generategrowth and jobs. Governments need to ensure that their primary focus is on facilitating the cleanenergy transition, upholding emission standards and targeting public investments to “RebuildBetter” for the future.

Within this global effort, the wind industry is a key partner for governments, and is ready to make an important and long-lasting contribution to economic recovery.
  • Wind energy has been a source of massive capital investment, as one of the fastestgrowing new industrial sectors in the world. From 2015 to 2019 alone, wind energygenerated over $652bn in investments. Ramping up installed wind capacity to above 2TWof capacity by 2030 would create additional annual investment of $207bn or over $2tn.The wind industry will also continue to be a major driver of innovation and investment inR&D as the industry introduces the next generation of wind energy turbine platforms.
  • Wind energy has been a major creator of skilled jobs and community benefits, andinternational agencies estimate that direct and indirect jobs in wind energy will morethan triple from 1.2mn in 2018 to nearly 4mn globally by 2030 if deployment takes placeat the necessary rate.
  • The wind industry is part of a vital push to renew the world’s energy infrastructure.Creating sufficient clean generation capacity, a flexible power grid that is ready forzero-carbon renewable energy and sufficient ports infrastructure for offshore wind arefundamental building blocks for wider economic recovery. With the expected availabilityof low-cost finance via stimulus packages, the coming years will be vital for creating theinfrastructure of the future.
  • Wind energy is at the heart of the energy transition, a necessary shift to a sustainablefuture for our society and its people. Before COVID-19, the global community had startedto make strong progress on implementing the Paris Accord to prevent damaging andirreversible climate change. The pandemic has created a temporary reduction in carbonemissions, but experience shows that these will quickly bounce back and it is vital that weredouble efforts to fix climate change for good.

Wind energy is competitive around the world. We are not asking for a bail-out, but we doneed a level playing field. It is vital that governments focus public funding on assets andinfrastructure that will facilitate and accelerate our transition to a low carbon future.

As oil prices continue to drop below historic lows, we strongly encourage Governments tointroduce meaningful carbon pricing mechanisms to fund the transition to a better built future.Revenues from properly priced carbon instruments can provide Governments with the funding todevelop the fully sustainable infrastructure of the future.

At the same time power markets have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and the massivereduction of demand. Governments must take measures to stimulate demand by movingdecisively to electrify the economy, including key sectors such as transport, heating and industry,as well as continue to retire ageing fossil fuel capacity in order to create rational andcompetitive prices.

Young people in particular will bear the financial, social, health and environmental costs of thestimulus plans now being designed, and carry the debt associated with this spending, so we mustmake sure that they are able to benefit from today’s decisions. The International RenewableEnergy Agency (IRENA) estimates that each (USD) dollar spent to advance the global energytransition will bring a return of three to eight dollars – hence the investment will pay for itself, ifdone right.

We call on governments, intergovernmental bodies, and global lending institutions, to putwind energy investment, at the centre of their economic recovery and growth plans bytaking the following actions:

1. Investment for a sustainable and resilient future
— Introduce meaningful carbon pricing on an international basis and promote a levelplaying field across energy sources to allow the accelerated deployment of renewablesand electrification of sectors such as transport, heating and cooling and industry.
— Ensure that adequate investment flows towards critical infrastructure, including powersystems and grid infrastructure, at a low cost of finance and with adherence tosustainability standards.
— Provide strong support for innovation and R&D programs in order to allow theaccelerated deployment of the next generation of wind turbine platforms.
— Introduce clear criteria that investment schemes for public and private bodies are builtupon the principle of “No Harm” for society and the environment.
— Implement evidence-based decision-making for government-backed investment, guidedby metrics such as impact on GDP, environmental impact, resource depletion, social valueand system resilience.
— Safeguard institutional and multilateral lending and relief funds by instituting reportingrequirements for sustainability and climate-related disclosures, in line with therecommendations of the — Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
— Move swiftly to scale up green financing for emerging markets and developingeconomies, which are facing accelerated capital flight and growing debt that hinderstheir clean energy transition

2. An Enabling Environment for clean energy
— Implement regulation that is fit for purpose, including market design that provides longterm price visibility and streamlined permitting that enables rapid ramp up of deployment.
— Safeguard existing and awarded wind projects, avoid retroactive changes to approvedremuneration schemes, and secure continuation of planned clean energy auctions.
— Create adequate frameworks to allow extensive and efficient repowering of older windpower plants.
— Enable and promote end-consumer 100% renewable energy demand in order to allowcorporates to ramp up and meet their sustainability objectives.
— Remove regulatorybarriers where these exist in order to enable corporates to freely purchase renewableenergy.
— Dis-incentivise investment in polluting, expensive and aging fossil fuel assets byintroducing pricing mechanisms which reflect the true economic, social, environmentaland health costs of fossil — fuel generation and completely phase-out of fossil-fuelsubsidies.
— Accelerate net-zero commitments, carbon budgets, carbon pricing, and science-basedapproaches among government bodies and corporates as they announce their economicrecovery plans.
— Increase ambitions to decarbonise all economic sectors through electrification.Reject proposals to dilute or recall legislation for environmental protection.

3. Empowerment of people to drive the energy transition forward
— Wind Power a cornerstone ofthe Global Economic RecoveryDis-incentivise investment in polluting, expensive and aging fossil fuel assets byintroducing pricing mechanisms which reflect the true economic, social, environmentaland health costs of fossil fuel generation and completely phase-out of fossil-fuelsubsidies.
— Accelerate net-zero commitments, carbon budgets, carbon pricing, and science-basedapproaches among government bodies and corporates as they announce their economicrecovery plans.
— Increase ambitions to decarbonise all economic sectors through electrification.
— Reject proposals to dilute or recall legislation for environmental protection.
— Capitalise on the enormous potential for the wind energy industry to create direct andindirect jobs by prioritising renewable energy for investment.
— Re-skill workers who may be dislocated from sectors with a declining business case foremployment in a growing sector like offshore wind.
— Commit to a just and inclusive energy transition by ensuring that recovery plans focus onequitable distribution of resources, training and skills development across genders,minority groups and marginalised communities.Maintain health and safety as a core pillar of wind energy and workforce planning.

We, the undersigned, call on governments and relevant bodies to work with us to create theeconomic recovery that the world and its people deserve.

List of signatories follows:






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