The $400-Billion-A-Year Global Warming Industrial Complex
For those who claim there’s no money in global warming, a new report by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) shows the private sector and governments spent $391 billion in 2014 on “low-carbon and climate-resilient growth.”
Governments — mostly in Western Europe, East Asia and the U.S. — spent $148 billion backing green energy and leveraging $243 billion in private sector funding, according to a report by CPI. The group says some $13.5 trillion in green energy schemes is needed for countries to comply with pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
“There is more money than ever before being invested in low carbon and climate resilient action,” CPI’s Barbara Buchner told Climate Change News. “At the same time, more needs to happen.”
CPI says $16.5 trillion in spending is needed to meet the United Nations’ goal of limiting future warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. The report underscores just how much money there is in the “global warming” industry, which contrasts claims made by activists that there’s only money in promoting fossil fuels.
“If countries get their domestic policy frameworks right, that really can trigger a big change in making money flow,” Buchner said.
“The first step to addressing the climate crisis is to stop funding the problem,” said 350.org executive director May Boeve. “Ending fossil fuel subsidies and other dirty finance is the clearest way that G20 countries can help build momentum for the climate talks in Paris. As hundreds of institutions continue to join the fossil fuel divestment movement it’s time for governments to follow suit and stop funding climate destruction.”
For years, activists have claimed governments across the world spend hundreds of billions of dollars subsidizing fossil fuels every year — a recent report says governments spent $452 billion on fossil fuels this year.
Environmentalists hope that highlighting the scale of fossil fuels subsidies will build support for using that money to fund green energy and other global warming programs. Even United Nations officials have jumped on the bandwagon by pushing for ending fossil fuel subsidies and funding green programs.
“The first step to addressing the climate crisis is to stop funding the problem,” May Boeve, head of the activist group 350.org, said of fossil fuel subsidies. “Ending fossil fuel subsidies and other dirty finance is the clearest way that G20 countries can help build momentum for the climate talks in Paris.”
Even if it’s true fossil fuels get $452 billion in subsidies a year, activists are hesitant to point out to the growing size of the global warming industry. Funding for global warming programs rose 18 percent in 2014, while fossil fuel subsidies have fallen 42 percent since 2012.
Activist groups have also been raking in more cash than groups skeptical of global warming as the issue gains more prominence in national policy debates.
Global warming skepticism only raised “$46 million annually across 91 conservative think tanks,” according to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Andrew Follett. “That’s almost 6 times less than Greenpeace’s 2011 budget of $260 million, and Greenpeace is only one of many environmental groups.”
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