The transition to a global renewable energy economy could save $71 trillion by the year 2050, according to an IEA report.
Or, to say that another way, $44 trillion in investment by the year 2050 would translate to about $115 trillion in energy savings ($71 trillion in net savings), as well as helping to limit the extent of CO2-induced warming.
Given the strong impetus there, what’s stopping the transition? According to Ceres — a network of investors representing trillions of dollars in assets — nothing! Just a lack of solid actions taken by the key players — or, perhaps, the fact that “businesses have not sufficiently stepped up their leadership.”
Of course, the longer this transition waits, the more expensive it will get, as the IEA notes: “The longer we wait, the more expensive it becomes to transform the global energy system.”
As Ceres writes: “This year Ceres has rallied businesses, investors and policymakers around its new Clean Trillion campaign. The fact that the clean energy investment goal is now $44 trillion by 2050 – $8 trillion higher than the $36 trillion in the previous IEA analysis – gives the campaign even more urgency. It is clear that we need to raise our collective ambition. Company efforts to establish programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy sourcing are lagging far behind what’s needed.”
The analysis assessed the sustainability performance of some (613) of the largest publicly traded companies in the US — altogether representing around 80% of the total market capitalization of all public companies in the US.
Some notable findings:
- 71% of companies have at least some activities in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but only 35% have established time-bound targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- In terms of renewable energy, 37% of companies have implemented a program, while only 6% have quantitative targets to increase renewable energy sourcing.”
Hmm… Hopefully things will start picking up, but hard to say.
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