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You are here: Home Special Reports Special Report Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation

Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation


For SRREN Website go to:


The IPCC 4th Assessment Report (AR4) covered the full range of mitigation options, which necessarily limited its treatment of renewable energy (RE) sources. Within the constraints of time and space, the AR4 showed that RE has the potential to contribute to the mitigation of climate change via the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector.

Following the AR4, many governments as well as important actors in civil society and the private sector asked for more substantial information and broader coverage of all questions pertaining to the use of RE.  As expressed by the interventions of many governments at the 25th Plenary Session of the IPCC at Mauritius – at which the scoping of an IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energies was approved - this is particularly true of certain countries and regions where specific information is lacking. Following the scoping meeting in Luebeck Germany in January, 2008, the outline of the IPCC WG III’s Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) was approved at the IPCC Plenary in Budapest in April, 2008.

Due to the dynamic development of markets and investment and the experience gained from enabling policy frameworks, substantial additional evidence has emerged since the AR4. Significant new information and analysis has been reported in the literature on technological development and deployment, regional assessments, environmental and socio-economic impacts, cost reductions as well as mounting practical experience with implementation.

The IPCC WG III SRREN is expected to provide a better understanding of:

  • resources by region and impacts of climate change on these resources;
  • the mitigation potential of RE sources;
  • the linkages between RE growth and co-benefits in achieving sustainable development by region;
  • the impacts on global, regional and national energy security;
  • the technology and market status, future developments and projected rates of deployment;
  • the options and constraints for integration into the energy supply system and other markets, including energy storage options;
  • the economic and environmental costs, benefits, risks and impacts of deployment;
  • capacity building, technology transfer and financing in different regions;
  • policy options, outcomes and conditions for effectiveness; and
  • the accelerated deployment that could be achieved in a sustainable manner.

The SRREN will address the information needs of policy makers, private sector and civil society in a comprehensive way and will provide valuable information for further IPCC publications, including the upcoming IPCC 5th Assessment Report.

The writing process of the SRREN includes a total of four lead author meetings (The 1st held in January 2009, the 2nd in September 2009, the 3rd in March 2010 and the 4th in September 2010), drafting periods (for the First Order Draft (FOD), Second Order Draft (SOD) and Final Draft), and periods of expert and government review. The Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the SRREN will go through the approval process by the IPCC member countries February 21-23, 2011. Following its approval, the SRREN is expected for publication in late spring, 2011.


  • 21-25 January 2008 Scoping meeting for the Special Report on Renewable Energy Source, Lübeck, Germany
  • 30-31 August 2009 Expert Meeting on Scenarios
  • 01-02 February 2010 Expert Review Meeting, Washington DC, USA
  • 28 February – 01 March 2010 Follow-up Expert Meeting on Scenarios
  • 02-05 March 2010 3rd Lead Author Meeting for the SRREN, Oxford, UK
  • 20-24 September 2010 4th Lead Author Meeting for the SRREN Mexico City, Mexico
  • 5-8 May 2011 IPCC WG III Plenary Session for the approval of the SRREN SPM Abu Dhabi, UAE