$1Billion/Day To Prevent Global Warming As Antarctic Sea Ice Hits Record High

Antarctic sea iceCNS News

Governments and private entities throughout the world spent $359 billion last year – or nearly $1 billion per day – to prevent global warming even though the Earth’s temperature has remained virtually flat for the past 17 years.

But even $1 billion a day is apparently not enough, according to the Climate Policy Initiative’s (CPI) “Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013” report released Tuesday, exactly one month after NASA researchers recorded a new record for sea ice in the Antarctic.  

“An additional investment of USD 5 trillion is required by 2020 for the clean energy transition consistent with limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius,” CPI, which is partially funded y grants from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, stated. (See The-Global-Landscape-of-Climate-Finance-2013.pdf)

“Landscape 2013 finds that global climate finance flows have plateaued at USD 359 billion, or around USD 1 billion per day – far below even the most conservative estimates of investment needs,” the report concludes.

Of that $359 billion, 94 percent was spent to support “greenhouse gas mitigation,” including 2,016 large-scale renewable projects based in 19 countries” and various “sustainable transportation projects” worldwide.

In addition to spending vast sums on renewable energy projects, various government and quasi-government agencies are tightening the flow of capital to more traditional sources of energy. For example, the report noted that the World Bank Group and the European Investment Bank both “recently pledged to limit or cease funding for coal-fired power generation projects, while committing to reinforce support for renewables and energy efficiency investments.”

Bemoaning the fact that climate-related investment from “private investors, who can and should provide the lion’s share of global climate finance,” have remained flat in recent years because they “only invest their money when the returns on offer outweigh the costs,” CPI called for more public resources to “alter the balance between risk and return in ways that drive the supply and demand for finance.”

“Private capital flows into climate investments when public incentives and money make them commercially attractive by taking off risk and reducing incremental costs,” the report stated, identifying “five entry points for public money, ranging from direct investments in low-carbon, climate-resilient projects, active shareholding, and provision of financial incentives, to covering risks, or paying for incremental costs, viability gaps, knowledge and capacity.”

Public financing, which currently accounts for “38 percent of global climate finance,” can involve “low-cost loans, risk coverage mechanisms, direct project investment, and technical support,” the report suggested.

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