Annual renewable power additions must triple to keep the 1.5°C climate pathway within reach, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said in its new World Energy Transitions Outlook.

The report, in its first edition this year, calls for a stepped-up global ambition in renewables deployment, helped by infrastructure, policy, and regulations, and underlining institutional and workforce capabilities.

“We face the harsh reality that we are not on track to deliver on the Paris agreement,” Irena director-general Francesco La Camera said.

“Our only option is to follow the most promising, science-based pathway, one that puts renewable energy at the centre of the solution, while leading countries to energy security, reduced energy costs, and forward-looking industrial development.

“COP28 and the Global Stocktake [a Paris agreement monitoring component] must not only confirm our deviation from a 1.5°C pathway, but also provide a strategic blueprint to steer us back on track.”

Although a record 300GW of fresh green power capacity was added last year, the gap between what has been achieved and what is required continues to grow, Irena said, adding that an average of 1TW in annual renewables capacity must be installed.

The COP28 president-designate, Sultan al-Jaber, added: “A goal alone is not enough. This report provides us with a solid pathway to implementation and I welcome Irena’s recommendations.

“We also need the political will to create the necessary conditions to rapidly scale up renewables. This must create the frameworks for end-to-end delivery and provide the accessible and affordable finance necessary for project pipelines.”

To meet 2030 targets, the world urgently needs to fast track grid infrastructure expansion, to reduce permitting timelines, and to reduce the cost of capital in emerging markets and developing economies, al Jaber said.

Al Jaber in the run up to COP28 had been harshly criticised due to his role as CEO of Abu Dhabi state oil company Adnoc, with more than 100 members of the US Congress and the European Parliament claiming he could undermine negotiations at the summit in Dubai in November and allow oil & gas firms to “exert undue influence”.

Irena in its report identified that getting the 1.5° pathway back on track requires addressing a lack of physical infrastructure, the absence of enabling policies and regulations, as well as misalignments in skills and institutional capacity.