Quantcast

How Close is the World to $1 Trillion in Renewable Energy Investments?

Business

Some bankers across the world are aiming high when it comes to investments in renewable energy.

Billionaire investors and climate-focused policy advocates like hedge-fund founder billionaire Tom Steyer and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin gathered at the United Nations this week to call for more investments in renewables and changes to financial markets that would boost investments, according to Bloomberg.

The figure they had in mind? $1 trillion per year—dubbed a "Clean Trillion" by Ceres and others.

Some in the financial and energy industries believe that's what it will take in order to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. As it stands now, global invests in clean energy must double by 2020 and once again in order to reach that goal.

Graphic credit: Ceres

In 2013, the global investment amount in solar, wind and other clean forms of energy was $254 billion, down 12 percent from $281 billion in the prior year. In 2011, record levels were set at $318 billion.

"What we need to have invested in the energy sector and in the green infrastructure in order to make the transformation that we need in order to stay within [2 degrees Celsius of global temperature rise] is $1 trillion a year and we are way, way behind that," Christiana Figueres, UN climate chief, told The Guardian. "Last year, we had $300 billion, and in the same year we had double that amount invested in exploration and mining in fossil fuels. So you can see that the ratio is not where it needs to be. We need to be at the opposite ratio."

According to Ceres, the world needs to invest an additional $36 trillion in clean energy for the next 36 years. The organization suggests it's actually possible, regardless how daunting it sounds, businesses, investors and policymakers band together. Here are some of the organization's proposals:

  • Pension funds and other institutional investors should commit to a goal of investing 5 percent of their portfolios in clean energy. That amount is less than 1 percent at the moment, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

  • Investors should more closely scrutinize companies that emit high levels of carbon dioxide.

  • Banks should create simple investment tools that help investors access the market. For example, Elon Musk's SolarCity will introduce an online investment system within six months.

Graphic credit: Ceres

Ceres also calls for policymakers to form a new global climate change agreement by 2015, and establish polices that put a limit and price on greenhouse gas emissions.

"Cost competitive renewable technologies and attractive investment opportunities exist right now, but we're still not seeing clean energy deployment at the scale we need to put a dent in climate change," said Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, which organised this week's summit.

"We need to find a way to get more institutional investor capital into this space."

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By George Citroner

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.

But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.

Read More Show Less
Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, poses for a photograph. Nick Otto / Washington Post / Getty Images

It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Passengers trying to reach Berlin's Tegel Airport on Sunday were hit with delays after police blocked roads and enacted tighter security controls in response to a climate protest.

Read More Show Less
A military police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, pets Rosco, a post-traumatic stress disorder companion animal certified to accompany him, on Jan. 11, 2014. North Carolina National Guard

For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.

He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.

But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Read More Show Less
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Preliminary tests of the bubble barrier have shown it to be capable of ushering 80 percent of the canal's plastic waste to its banks. The Great Bubble Barrier / YouTube screenshot

The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.

Read More Show Less
Man stands on stage at Fort Leonard Wood in the U.S. Brett Sayles / Pexels

Wilson "Woody" Powell served in the Air Force during the Korean war. But in the decades since, he's become staunchly anti-war.

Read More Show Less
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Nov. 8. Matt Johnson / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.

Read More Show Less