Renewables boosted as world leaders commit to scale up investment

Intro

Private sector investors committed to “accelerate clean energy innovation and expand investment in climate solutions,” with business leaders from 23 countries and representing 90 per cent of clean energy investment agreeing to ramp up their role in the ongoing energy transition at the seventh annual Clean Energy Ministerial. The Obama administration along with 20 international partners also committed to double funding for clean energy research and development from $15 billion to $30 billion annually by 2021. The development is the latest prominent example of the Paris Effect, as companies like Wells Fargo, universities like Stanford, and firms like Mercer Investment Consulting to name a few of the group – which collectively represents 75 per cent of global carbon emissions – moving to not only do their part to help meet global climate coals, but also to protect their financial futures. Business leaders have grasped the obvious: energy policy is changing as fast as the renewable industry is booming, and billions of dollars in assets must be shifted away from dirty energy before it is too late, and to the great benefit to human health and investment yields alike.

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Key Points

  • Business leaders know it and the Paris Agreement cemented it: fossil fuels are finished. This week, Wells Fargo agreed to invest $10 million in building efficiency startups, Stanford University is working on a research partnership to accelerate the integration of more than 50 percent renewable energy into the electricity grid, and Mercer Investment Consulting will educate their U.S. public pension fund fiduciaries on the potential legal and economic risks associated with high-carbon portfolios. Meanwhile, renewable investment continued to break records, with round 147 gigawatts (GW) added globally in 2015 – mainly from wind and solar.
  • 2016 is the final opportunity for President Obama to cement his climate legacy. In the coming year, the Obama administration will be able to craft policies that will last far beyond the end of his term. As the host nation of these meetings, all eyes are on the US – which has already agreed to double funding for clean energy research and development by 2021 – to continue leading in the ongoing energy transition, and there are plenty more choices Obama can make to lay down his climate legacy.

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