Energy transition | WWF
© Justin Jin / WWF France

Energy transition

Driving the transition from fossil fuels to efficient, renewable and sustainable energy

We’re working to ensure a faster, fairer shift in the global energy system

Over 80% of the world’s energy is produced by burning coal, oil and gas. Fossil fuels release billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and are the biggest driver of climate change. But change is underway: a renewable energy revolution has begun. To meet the challenge of climate change the world will need to do everything possible to accelerate it.

Renewable energy generated from natural resources such as wind and solar is increasingly cheaper than fossil fuels and can provide millions of greener jobs. Energy efficiency can also have a huge impact - by some estimates, the right efficiency policies could help achieve 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach global climate goals, while generating job opportunities and saving money that can be invested in renewables.

WWF works to initiate, accelerate, and sustain the transition to efficient, renewable, and sustainable energy systems all over the world. To achieve these goals we work to redirect investment towards renewable energy, to demonstrate renewable and energy efficiency solutions in practice, to help communities and businesses access renewable energy, and to ensure sustainability and fairness of the transition.

What WWF is doing
© Steppinstars / Pixabay

Accelerating Renewable Energy

To speed up the shift to renewable energy, WWF works to promote renewables among consumers and end users. All over the world, WWF and partners have convened coalitions of businesses that jointly procure renewable energy, and advocate to make buying renewable energy easier.

All infrastructure has some environmental impact, and ensuring a fast and sustainable transition means choosing sites, and designs for renewable energy systems that minimize impact on wildlife habitats and biodiversity.
© Jude Joshua / Pixabay

REpowering Asia

Despite the global boom in renewable energy, many new coal-fired power plants are planned or under construction, particularly in fast-growing Asia.

WWF’s REpowering Asia initiative focuses on redirecting the finance currently flowing from China and South Korea to the countries of Southeast Asia, advocating for investment in renewables instead of coal.

Phasing out Fossil Fuels

Along with phasing in renewable energy, we need to phase out the extraction, production and use of fossil fuels. WWF works to highlight the climate and environmental risks associated with investment in fossil fuels and to help governments and investors prioritize renewable energy instead.

Increasing attention is being paid to the role of hydrogen in the transition to a sustainable energy system. Hydrogen can replace fossil fuels in heavy industries and in some large vehicles. WWF promotes the production and use of hydrogen by advocating for its production using only renewable electricity.

​Investing in fossil fuels is a bad idea

USD 12 trillion in fossil fuel investments that have already been made may end up stranded by 2050.

Source: IRENA Global Renewables Outlook 2020

Making Energy Efficiency a Top Priority

Along with helping the world reach its climate goals, energy efficiency has a range of other benefits, including reduced strain on resources, cleaner air in urban centers, reduced costs, and increased energy security through reduced load on national grids.

WWF is working to increase the adoption of more efficient systems in energy-intensive areas such as heating and cooling, manufacturing and food production.
© WWF

Cool & Solar

The growing need for cooling globally threatens to be a major driver of increased greenhouse gas emissions, but efficient and climate-friendly solutions exist. At the same time, the solar power revolution means that the same buildings that need cooling solutions can also generate their own renewable power.

WWF’s ‘Cool & Solar’ initiative works to drive a shift to solar energy and more energy-efficient cooling technology. By combining the power of rooftop solar with cooling solutions, WWF is working to ensure we can keep our homes, businesses and cities cool without contributing to global warming.

Learn more

Advancing Energy Access

Renewables can provide decentrally generated, cost-efficient electricity to people who live in areas, which are not connected to national power grids. Access to renewable energy may also provide health benefits and cost-savings to communities, who may otherwise rely on unsustainable alternatives.

WWF works to ensure that sustainable, affordable energy is available to those who need it most.
© Justin Jin / WWF France

Africa Energy Access Initiative

More than 100 million African households live without basic electricity services, while 850 million people lack access to clean energy for cooking. Energy access is a development priority but also a climate priority, as traditional biomass for cooking is a major driver of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

The WWF Africa Energy Access Initiative focuses on catalyzing innovation and investment in off-grid renewable electricity systems, clean cooking solutions and energy for productive use in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Madagascar and Zambia.

Ensuring a Just and Sustainable Transition

Although the transformation to a more sustainable energy system is itself a key element to ensuring global social justice, attempting to complete it without taking into account the social implications risks aggravating inequalities and failing to complete the transformation all together.

WWF is working to integrate concepts of social justice and equity in the energy transition.