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23 June 2021updated 05 Nov 2021 9:33am

Policy void keeps fossil fuels at top of the energy charts

Governments must make renewable energy uptake a key performance indicator across every level of decision-making if the share of fossil fuels in final energy consumption is to fall, says international policy network REN21.

By Energy Monitor Staff

The share of fossil fuels in final energy consumption has “not moved an inch” across the last decade, remaining at 80%, due to an absence of universal policies promoting the deployment of renewable energy, says the international policy network REN21 in its 2021 annual renewables report.

Air conditioning units in Antwerp, Belgium in 2019. (Photo by Dirk Waem/AFP via Getty Images)

Last year, the number of countries with renewable energy support policies failed to increase, remaining at 161 countries. Of these, 70 countries had renewable targets in transport policies, while only 23 had set policies for heating and cooling.

Ongoing dependence on fossil fuels for heating, cooling and transport is related to a lack of policy support for renewables in these sectors, the report states. Combined, these two categories account for as much as 83% of energy consumption globally.


To support the development of renewables and the move away from fossil fuels, REN21 calls for governments to consider renewable energy uptake across every economic activity, budget and public purchase.

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