With the required number of countries ratifying The Paris Agreement, it is a clear signal that the transition to a low-carbon global economy is underway. The process to formally ratify the agreement was one of the fastest in history and highlights the urgency with which the global community is now working to tackle climate change.
Ceres estimates that the world must ratchet up global investment in clean energy by an additional $1 trillion a year to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. “Global investment in clean energy is currently tracking at about $300 to $350 billion a year, which is far short of the Clean Trillion target we need to hit every year to avoid catastrophic climate warming,” according to a Ceres (ceres.org) statement.
In order to limit global warming to below 2°C and avoid the worst effects of climate change, the world needs to invest more than an additional $1 trillion per year in clean energy through 2050 – the “Clean Trillion.” Reaching the Clean Trillion and putting the world on a path to climate stabilization will require shifting capital away from high carbon fossil fuels – the majority of which must remain in the ground – and into clean energy.
“Meeting the Clean Trillion goal will be a tremendous challenge, but it is achievable if businesses, investors and policymakers join forces. Progress is being made toward increasing clean energy investment and reducing capital expenditures for fossil fuels, although there is an urgent need to increase the speed and scale of global clean energy transition.”
Mapping The Gap
The Ceres report notes that achieving the ‘Clean Trillion’ will require clean energy transition across all sectors, including electric power, buildings and transportation, among others. Ceres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) have teamed up to release Mapping the Gap: The Road from Paris, which seeks to underscore how the global transition to clean electric power can be financed. Findings include: (https://www.ceres.org/issues/clean-trillion)
- The global renewable energy investment opportunity in the electric sector is massive, at $12.1 trillion over the next 25 years. Investment in clean power projects must grow rapidly.
- There is a $5.2 trillion “gap” between the ramped up renewable energy investment that is projected under current scenarios and what is actually needed for the electric sector to meet its share of carbon emissions reductions needed to achieve the Clean Trillion.
- A world working to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement (to limit temperature change to 2ºC or below) means investment in new renewable power generation will increase 75% above business-as-usual.
- While the scale of this new investment opportunity is enormous, it is dwarfed by the capacity of global financial markets to unleash the needed investment capital, creating extensive new opportunities for commercial financiers, institutional investors and others.