World Economic Forum wants $10tn to save the world
The Guardian, Jan. 30, 2009
More than $10 trillion must be invested in clean technology between now and 2030 to spare the Earth from an unsustainable increase in global temperature, the World Economic Forum warned today.
A report from the body that organises the Davos meeting of political and business leaders said at least $515bn should be spent annually on measures to limit carbon emissions.
Although the worsening financial and economic crisis has pushed climate change down the Davos agenda this year, the WEF study stressed that countries needed to vastly increase spending on safeguarding the environment.
Green investment has increased more than fourfold, from $30bn to $140bn, between 2004 and 2008, but would still need to triple to meet the target set by the WEF and the co-authors of the report, New Energy Finance. Outlays of $500bn a year would be needed to prevent a rise of more than 2C in global temperatures by 2030.
The study identified eight emerging, large-scale clean energy sectors that were seen as playing a crucial role in the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy strategy over the next two decades. These were: onshore wind, offshore wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal electricity generation, municipal solar waste-to-energy, sugar-based ethanol, cellulosic and next-generation biofuels, and geothermal power.
Max von Bismarck and Anuradha Gurung from the World Economic Forum, and Chris Greenwood and Michael Liebreich from New Energy Finance, said "enormous investment in energy infrastructure is required to address the twin threats of energy insecurity and climate change. In light of the global financial crisis, it is crucial that every dollar is made to 'multi-task' to create a sustainable low-carbon economy."
At a time when the global economy has been struggling, the report said business had an opportunity to make healthy profits from the fight against climate change. An index of the world's 90 leading clean energy companies had a five-year compounded annualised return of almost 10%, unmatched by the world's major stock indices.
Earlier a group of climate change experts including Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the UK government's report on the economics of climate change, warned against complacency in the UN climate talks, due to conclude in December in Copenhagen to replace the 1997 Kyoto protocol. They said the economic and climate change agendas should be yoked together in 2009 to ensure that spending had long-term benefits for the environment
Clean Energy Spending Needs To More Than Triple: Report
Reuters, Jan. 30, 2009
DAVOS - Clean energy investment needs to more than triple to $515 billion a year to stop planet-warming emissions reaching levels deemed unsustainable by scientists, the World Economic Forum said in a report on Thursday.
The hefty investments required in renewable energy sectors such as solar and wind energy need to be made between now and 2030, the report, which was co-written by research group New Energy Finance, said.
"Clean energy opportunities have the potential to generate significant economic returns," the World Economic Forum said in a statement accompanying the report.
Clean energy investments were $155 billion last year, up from $30 billion in 2004 but still far below the $515 billion the report's authors say is needed to combat climate change.
Eight sectors are expected to contribute to the shift toward green energy, the report said. They include onshore wind, offshore wind, photovoltaic solar power, solar thermal energy, municipal solar waste-to-energy, sugar-based ethanol, cellulosic and other second-generation biofuels and geothermal power.
Also on Thursday, top climate change officials including Yvo de Boer of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change urged governments to use a portion of fiscal stimulus packages to invest in clean energy.
The also warned against complacency in UN climate talks.
Governments from around the world will meet in Copenhagen later this year to try to reach a deal to replace the Kyoto protocol, which sets targets for cutting carbon emissions.
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