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Investment to limit climate change is lagging: Study

AFP | Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 10:48

Copenhagen: Spending on measures to limit global warming declined last year, and was deeply inadequate to avoid its worst effects, said a climate finance analysis released in Copenhagen today.

Governments and the private sector spent about USD 359 billion (263 billion euros) in 2012 -- down from USD 364 billion the year before, said a report by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), an independent team of climate finance analysts and advisors.

The analysis was unveiled at a meeting of the Global Green Growth Forum which includes representatives of governments, the business sector, investors and international organisations working for cleaner, safer energy.

The International Energy Agency said last year an investment of USD 5 trillion was needed in renewable energy by 2020 to achieve a UN goal of limiting global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

This goal is mainly being targeted by projects to reduce emissions of Earth-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) created through fossil-fuel burning for energy production and transport.

The World Bank has since projected a temperature rise of 4.0 C by the end of the century -- triggering more extreme heat waves, declining global food stocks and sea-level rises affecting hundreds of millions of people.

"Efforts to scale up finance are falling further and further behind," said a CPI statement.

The body said governments contributed USD 135 billion, or 38 per cent, of total finance and the private sector the rest, including an estimated USD 102 billion by project managers, USD 66 billion by manufacturers and corporations and some USD 33 billion by households on greener energy.

"While public support for climate activities was significant, it was still dwarfed by current government support to fossil fuel energy consumption and production," said the statement.

"Private investors, who can and should provide the lion`s share of global climate finance for good reason -- as asset owners and end users of renewable technologies -- only invest their money when the returns on offer outweigh the costs," added the CPI.

The report found that 76 per cent of all climate financing came from the country it was spent in.

Developed countries spent about USD 177 billion and developing states USD 182 billion on climate investment, said the CPI.

Technological progress meant there was "some cause for optimism" in renewable energy, it noted.

First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 10:48
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