The goal of
The International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental body, estimates that the world needs to invest $115 trillionin clean technologies such as solar and wind power and electric vehicles to limit global warming since 1900 to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement that was signed by 195 countries.
Much of the reduction would have to come in India and China, which would need to invest $21 trillion to overhaul transportation and construction while building nuclear, wind and solar facilities to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2060, according to the Wall Street Journal. But 57% of China’s energy consumption in 2020 was supplied by coal, and its consumption of that commodity is forecast to rise 6% from 2020 to 2025. With coal-mining a big employer in China, coal power plants heavily indebted and electric power needed for economic growth, the nation is reluctant to phase out coal before the 2040s. Coal supplies half of India’s energy needs and its share of world coal consumption is expected to rise from 11% to 14% in 2030.
With tightening restrictions on coal mining in China, the politically-inspired ban on coal imports from Australia and worldwide economic recovery, the
A harbinger of U.S. consumer reaction to higher energy costs was the French nationwide “gilets jaunes,” or yellow shirts, protests in 2018 in response to a proposed fuel tax hike. President Emmanuel Macron was humiliated and forced to rescind the plan.
The total cost of fulfilling the Paris climate agreement alone would be $50 trillion in 2030, or $140 per American. Yet a recent Washington Post survey found that the majority would vote againsteven a $24 annual climate tax added to their energy bills. Still, the $140 per American per year investment, if sustained through 2100, would only reduce global temperatures by
At the Glasgow COP26 climate summit, poorer countries demanded that wealthy nations channel at least $1.3 trillion in climate financing to them annually, starting in 2030. But developed countries fell $20 billion short of their $100 billion aid target for 2020 and aren’t likely to meet it until 2023, climate negotiators wrote in a report in October, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Big polluters such as China, India and Russia have pledged emissions cuts, but not to the levels that Western nations have insisted are necessary to limit global warming. Saudi Arabia plans to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, although that doesn’t include carbon from the oil it exports. The kingdom produces about 10 million barrels of crude oil per day and has been installing solar panels in the sun-drenched desert to save hydrocarbon for sale abroad. Meanwhile, a recent survey of big companies by Boston Consulting Group found that
The surging costs of carbon reduction raises the important question of the bang-per-buck. Damage due to climate change as a percentage of global GDP has dropped from 0.25% in 1990 to 0.18% in 2020, according to the CFDA/CRED International Disaster Database. And the trend has been down in rich and poor countries alike. Also, more disasters are made known today due to better reporting and higher minimum levels of damage that’s recorded. Climate-related
Even though a cleaner atmosphere promotes better health, malnutrition death rates in 2050 would be barely lower without climate change. With better nutrition, they’ve dropped from seven per million per year in 1990 to 2.78 per million in 2020 and are forecast by the World Health Organization to
The United Nations estimates that even if no country does anything to slow global warming, the annual damage in 2100 would be the
Like any major economic event, the pursuit of carbon-cutting opens investment opportunities. But as is often the case, initial enthusiasm will probably soon give way to disappointment as soaring costs are revealed and hopes for net-zero carbon emissions fade. The prudent investor will probably be better off waiting for the retreat from current exuberance over climate investments and then buying cheaper.
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