The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will have to invest $148 billion per annum through 2050 to decarbonise the energy system in line with the Paris Agreement, according to the IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook 2020 report.

The report, which was released on Monday, said the region would need to invest every year up to 2050 nearly $18 billion in renewables, $96 billion in energy efficiency, $5 billion in electrification of heat and transport, $23 billion in power grids and flexibility, and $6 billion in areas like electrolysers for hydrogen production, biofuel supply, and carbon capture and storage combined with improved materials for industry, to achieve the energy transformation needed to mitigate climate change.

“A climate-safe future calls for the scale-up, and redirection, of investment to clean energy technologies. Fossil-fuel investments need to be shifted to renewables and energy efficiency instead, while subsidies to fossil fuels must be phased out”, the report said.

Overall, globally, the total investment in the energy system in the renewable energy-driven Transforming Energy Scenario would need to reach $110 trillion by 2050, or around 2 percent of average annual GDP over the period. Of that total, over 80 percent needs to be invested in renewables, energy efficiency, end-use electrification, and power grids and flexibility.

In annual terms, $3.2 trillion needs to be invested in the global energy system every year to 2050, which compares to recent historical investment (2014-2018) in the energy system of around $1.8 trillion per year, and $2.9 trillion per year in the current (up to April 2019) Planned Energy Scenario, the report said.

The report underlined that “every dollar spent on energy transition would bring a payback of between $3 and $8 in reduced environmental and health externalities.” It said the energy transition will result in more jobs gained than lost with jobs in renewables quadrupling to 42 million globally by 2050.

The MENA region, the report said, would create 1.51 million jobs in the renewable sector compared to 78 million lost in the fossil fuel sector.

(Writing by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon)

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