Green Flop: Falling Renewables Investment Stalls Paris Climate Goals

  • Date: 14/05/19
  • Financial Times

The world is moving in the opposite direction of the Paris climate pact goals, with investment in renewable energy falling for the second consecutive year in 2018 and spending on fossil fuel extraction rising, the world’s energy watchdog has warned.

Note: Investment is measured as the ongoing capital spending in energy supply capacity and incremental spending on more efficient equipment and goods (in energy efficiency). The scope and methodology for tracking energy investments is found in the Annex of this report as well as at iea.org/media/publications/wei/WEI2019- Methodology-Annex.pdf. Renewables for transport and heat include biofuels for transport and solar thermal heating. Electricity networks include transmission and distribution. Source: IEA

Spending on renewable power such as wind, solar and biomass projects slipped 1 per cent in real terms to $304bn in 2018, the lowest level since 2014, according to an International Energy Agency report published on Tuesday.

Investment in coal mining rose by 2.6 per cent compared with the previous year — the first uptick since 2012 — to $80bn, while capital expenditure in oil and gas extraction saw a 3.7 per cent increase to $477bn.

Under the Paris accord, nearly 200 countries pledged to limit global temperature rises to less than 2C above pre-industrial levels.

“Compared to 2015 when the Paris climate agreement was signed, the appetite to push low carbon investments and policies is slowly fading,” Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, told the FT.

Last year, carbon dioxide emissions from human activities reached a record owing to increased fossil fuel consumption.

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