Clean energy investment needs to more than triple to US$515 billion a year to prevent planet-warming emissions reaching levels deemed unsustainable by scientists, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in a report last week.
The massive investments required in renewable energy sectors such as solar and wind energy need to be made between now and 2030, according the report. “Clean energy opportunities have the potential to generate significant economic returns,” the WEF 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 authors claim is needed to combat climate change.
Eight key sectors are expected to contribute to the shift toward green energy, including: photovoltaic solar power, solar thermal energy, onshore wind, offshore wind, municipal solar waste-to-energy, sugar-based ethanol, cellulosic and other second-generation biofuels, and geothermal power.
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.