Global commission launches recommendations to speed up permitting to address climate change

Press Release - 19 September 2023 

NEW YORK – A global commission launched recommendations today focused on speeding up planning and approvals for the massive deployment of renewables and green hydrogen needed to address climate change and achieve energy security. 

The Planning for Climate Commission includes a diverse range of global leaders, champions and experts with outstanding experience in climate and renewable energy policy making. 

Total renewable energy capacity needs to triple by 2030 to over 11,000 gigawatts globally but this target will not be met unless smart ways of implementing planning and permitting are shared which ensure both speed and buy-in from communities. 

The recommendations launched today at New York Climate Week outline nine sets of actions which will help us reach net zero. They range from shortening and legally mandating permitting timeframes, establishing permitting one-stop-shops, engaging communities from the outset, regulating community benefit sharing, strategic allocation of land, acceleration of grid build-out and integration, strong environmental safeguards and rigorous sustainability standards. The launch report shares case studies from across the world showing how these recommendations can be put into practice. 

The Planning for Climate Commission is an initiative of the Global Renewables Alliance made up of the Green Hydrogen Organisation, International Hydropower Association, the Global Wind Energy Council, the Global Solar Council, the Long Duration Energy Storage Council and International Geothermal Association. 

The work of the Planning for Climate Commission will be taken forward through the establishment of a global coalition that will work to reduce permitting timeframes by half by 2030 while upholding high standards of community engagement. The multistakeholder coalition will be launched at the COP28 Global Renewables Hub. 

Green Hydrogen Organisation CEO Jonas Moberg said: “This report and the recommendations it puts forward is a must read for anyone wanting to see faster permitting. We must learn fast. This is not just about wind turbines and pylons, but all of the infrastructure modern society needs to run on renewable energy.” 

Malcolm Turnbull, Former Prime Minister of Australia, Chair of Green Hydrogen Organisation and International Hydropower Association, and Planning for Climate Commissioner said: “The number of renewables needed to move away from fossil fuels is on a scale never seen before, but we cannot fail. We need fit-for-purpose permitting processes which help rather than hinder the deployment of renewables and green hydrogen around the world and this Commission will deliver the recommendations to achieve that aim.”  

Bruce Douglas, CEO, Global Renewables Alliance said: “Permitting and planning are two of the key enablers to help triple total global renewable energy capacity to at least 11,000 GW by 2030. This report provides detailed guidance, case studies and a clear nine-point plan on the why, what, who and how of faster and fairer permitting. It comes at a vital time to unlock viable projects, and deliver clean, secure, and just #RenewablesNow.”  

Eddie Rich, CEO, International Hydropower Association (IHA) said: “Getting approval for renewables projects takes too long. If we don’t address this, the climate change train will have left the station. Our members regularly cite this as one of their biggest challenges to developing the sustainable hydropower needed to get to net zero. If a project takes a decade to build, we will obviously not triple renewables capacity by 2030, and short-termism will trump long term planning. No one is asking for short-cuts or looser regulation, just more streamlining and efficiency. The Planning for Climate Commission coalition seeks to address this critical challenge and IHA is proud to be a founding member.”  

Lord Adair Turner, Chairman, Energy Transition Commission and Planning for Climate Commissioner said: “Urgent action is needed to deliver planning and permitting systems that will drive the transition to a net-zero economy. Governments, industry, and civil society need to work together to remove barriers and focus on reducing development times for vital wind and solar projects. The recommendations and proposed coalition of key stakeholders to accelerate progress towards fast and fair permitting is a critical step in the right direction.”  

Maarten Wetselaar, CEO, CEPSA and Planning for Climate Commissioner said: “Planning for Climate Commission is a fundamental initiative to achieve real and rapid progress in 2030, with concrete recommendations that will help speed up the deployment of clean energy projects and their social acceptance. Cepsa is proud to be a founding member of the Coalition, and we hope to contribute to streamlining permitting in order to face the transformational changes required by the net zero challenge.” 

Dr Lisa Sachs, Director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Development and Planning for Climate Commissioner said: "The massive and rapid expansion of renewable energy is critical to limit global warming, so its social acceptance must be assured. While not a silver bullet, well-designed and governed benefit-sharing arrangements that take into account community rights can lead to beneficial outcomes."  

Kandeh Yumkella, former CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, former Chairman of UN-Energy and Planning for Climate Commissioner said: "Effective planning for renewable energy and green hydrogen can ensure that projects that are well-aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals get faster approval. To this end, we recommend strategic allocation of land, strong policies and safeguards to limit environmental impacts, well-designed and community benefit-sharing mechanisms."


Contact at GH2: Joe Williams +44 77 5757 1170 / 

Notes to editors: 
Launch Report and Recommendations:  
Tackling climate change through fast and fair permitting for renewable energy and hydrogen: recommendations from the Planning for Climate Commission 

PCC 9 reccomendations card

Members of the Commission:  

  • Mr Marco Alvera, Chief Executive Officer, TES 

  • Ms Elbia Gannoum, President, Abeeolica 

  • Ashok Khosla, Indian environmentalist, former President of IUCN and Club of Rome 

  • Mr Sanjay Kumar, Deputy Secretary General, Climate Parliament 

  • Ms Sabah Mohamed Mashaly, Chairman & Managing Director, Egyptian Electrical Transmission Company 

  • Mr Mads Nipper, Chief Executive Officer, Ørsted 

  • Ms Mary Quaney, Chief Executive Officer, Mainstream 

  • Ms Shalini Rajneesh, Additional Chief Secretary to Government Planning, Programme Monitoring and Statistics Department, State of Karnataka 

  • Hon Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Government of Spain 

  • Dr Lisa Sachs, Director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment 

  • Mr José Ignacio Sánchez Galán, Executive Chairman, Iberdrola 

  • Mr Jackson Shaa, Executive Director, Narasha Community Development Group 

  • Mr Erik Solheim, GH2 advisor and former Minister of Development and Climate of Norway  

  • Hon Malcolm Turnbull, GH2 Chair and former Prime Minister of Australia 

  • Lord Adair Turner, Chairman, Energy Transitions Commission 

  • Ms Nangula Uaandja, CEO & Chairperson, Namibia Investment Promotion & Development Board 

  • Mr Maarten Wetselaar, Chief Executive Officer, CEPSA 

  • Hon Kandeh Yumkella, former CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and former Chairman of UN-Energy