01/10/2014 | Gary Hartley | Green strategy and politics | clean energy, climate change, green energy, investment, Paris 2015, renewable energy, renewables, Rockefeller, UN climate change conference, World Bank
Sometimes the easiest way to see which ideas are making a big breakthrough globally is to simply follow the money - and there have been some significant examples of late that show green energy is no longer at the fringes of global discourse.
Firstly, the World Bank’s renewable energy support has significantly increased this year. It now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of all financial support for power generation, and is up by over 125 per cent from 2013. The biggest increase is in hydropower, but it’s not the only beneficiary, with other technology options, as well as funding to modernise electricity grids and connect people to renewable sources seeing increases too. Good news also to be found in the World Bank's statistics is the fact that funding for coal and oil-fired generation has dropped dramatically over the last four years; from the majority of lending in 2010 to just 1.7 per cent this year. Progress indeed.
Elsewhere, famous names from the world of wealth are joining an initiative to move investments away from fossil fuels and towards green energy. The arguments of the Divest-Invest initiative has convinced the Rockafeller Brothers Fund to dump about £31billion’s worth of fossil fuel assets. Such shifts become more significant in the light of studies such as the one from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) suggesting the world needs to double its renewable energy investment by 2030 in order to hit climate targets. And the Paris UN climate change conference in December 2015 is crucial in how the world’s energy supply shapes up to 2030 and beyond. It’s clear that those voices in favour of a more urgent push towards low-carbon generation need to be heard strongly now.