Rapid deployment of renewable energy (RE) is critical to meet rising energy needs and mitigate climate change. The energy infrastructure needed to meet net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goals will have a large footprint that could impact people and biodiversity, as well as create conflicts that jeopardise investments and slow the clean energy transition. Materials needed for RE generation are also creating a new geography of mining impacts. Scientific assessments have shown the potential to meet the world’s RE needs by channeling development in ways that optimise for carbon mitigation while protecting natural ecosystems and supporting equitable transition. Successful navigation of this narrow pathway will require early and careful planning, sourcing, and operation of RE facilities. The G20 policy guidance to the energy and finances sectors must ensure alignment with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the Paris Agreement, and SDGs to enable effective and green transition.
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