Friday, November 27, 2015

Global Investments in Climate Change on the Rise

Workers walk among newly installed solar panels at a solar power plant in the Zhouquan township of Tongxiang, Zhejiang province. (Credit: Reuters) Click to Enlarge.
Global investment in activities to reduce planet-warming emissions and vulnerability to climate change grew 18 percent to $391 billion in 2014, as private backing for renewable energy technologies surged, researchers said.

More money than ever before was channeled into action to curb climate change and its impacts, after funding leveled off in 2012 and declined in 2013, according to an annual report from the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), an advisory group.

"Two weeks out from the international climate negotiations in Paris, our analysis demonstrates that countries around the world are investing to drive their own economic growth and development," Barbara Buchner, senior director of the CPI and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Around three quarters of total investment and over 90 percent of private finance was raised and spent in the same country, the report noted.

Worldwide, private investors poured $243 billion into renewable energy last year, up 26 percent from 2013, leading to record installation of solar photovoltaics and onshore wind power, with especially strong growth in China, the report said.

Some renewable energy technologies are edging closer to becoming fully cost-competitive with fossil fuels, it added.

Government investment, meanwhile, reached at least $148 billion in 2014, continuing its steady rise over the past three years.

Yet, despite the 2014 increase in funding for cleaner, more resilient economies, the CPI said even greater effort and a wider geographic spread for investment are needed to keep global warming to an internationally agreed target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit).

The report noted that around $16.5 trillion is required between 2015 and 2030 to shift the global energy system in line with the 2 degree goal.

More will be needed to curb emissions from deforestation and help societies and economies adapt to more extreme weather and rising seas, it added.

Read more at Global Investments in Climate Change on the Rise

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