David Weston, Editor-in-Chief, FORESIGHT Climate & Energy
During the 2009 UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, developed countries pledged to increase climate financing to developing nations to $100 billion each year by 2020 to help them to those ends. Yet, climate finance barely reached $80 billion in 2019, and a recent report from Oxfam suggested the $100 billion target is unlikely to be met, even by 2025.
Egyptian officials announced their priorities for COP27, emphasising climate finance and climate adaptation – a new approach given previous COPs mainly focused on mitigation, reducing emissions to limit climate damage. This indicates an acceptance that climate change is here.
This was followed by the COP27 presidency outlining its vision at MENA Climate Week 2022 to achieve ‘substantive and equal progress’ on all aspects of the negotiations, and Egypt emphasised its intention to focus on implementing existing carbon reduction targets rather than pushing for further carbon cuts.
IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook shows that over $24 trillion of global investment must be redirected from fossil fuels to energy transition technologies by 2050 to achieve a climate-safe 1.5C of global warming.
Meanwhile, capital spending on physical assets for energy and land-use systems in the net-zero transition between 2021 and 2050 would amount to about $275 trillion, or $9.2 trillion per year on average, an annual increase of as much as $3.5 trillion from today, according to McKinsey.
There is enough money to fund the energy transition. Moreover, the return on that investment will bring significant economic benefits for every country that takes advantage of it. But there are hurdles in the way of that war chest that is needed to meet mid-century targets. We want to look at what unleashing the funds would mean for the energy transition and how the world will change as a result.
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