It’s time to be smart about financing clean development

Future-smart investments are those that are sustainable

It has been two years since the historic Paris agreement to limit global temperature rise was struck. Now, on its second anniversary, the One Planet Summit hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron, is rightly putting finance at the centre of its agenda. Financing the transition to a low-carbon economy is fundamental to securing a more sustainable, secure and prosperous future.

We know that the low-carbon transition does not need to cost more than our current, high-polluting pathway, and will avoid the potentially enormous human and economic costs of congested cities, degraded agricultural and forest lands, and a changing climate. Research has shown that either path – the business-as-usual or the low-carbon, sustainable one – would require investing approximately $90tn (£67.5tn) over the next 15 years (pdf) to meet global infrastructure needs, and that this capital already exists. The problem is that we are still making the wrong investment choices in too many places and across too many sectors. These are only going to yield bigger and costlier stranded assets. It is time to be smart about finance.

The good news is that the wind – quite literally – is at our backs. Public and private investment in clean energy is scaling up. Global investment in renewable energy capacity has exceeded that in fossil fuel generation for the fifth year in a row (pdf).

Read the full article in the Guardian.