REPORT: $12.7 Trillion Needed To Meet Paris Climate Accord’s Goal

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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A whopping $7.4 trillion will be spent globally on new green energy facilities in the coming decades, but another $5.3 trillion is needed to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord, according to a new report.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is out with a new long-term energy outlook report, this time projecting a total of $12.7 trillion to keep projected global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century — a goal of the Paris accord.

BNEF projects $7.4 trillion will be invested in new green energy capacity by 2040, and that global carbon dioxide emissions will be 4 percent lower in that year than in 2016.

But that’s not enough to keep projected warming below 2 degrees, the report warns.

BNEF says a “further $5.3 trillion investment in 3.9 [terawatts] of zero-carbon capacity would be consistent with keeping the planet on a 2-degrees-C trajectory,” according to an excerpt of the report obtained by Axios.

President Donald Trump announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord in early June, arguing it would hurt American workers by transferring wealth from them to economic competitors, like China and India.

“This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,” Trump.

China and India joined the Paris agreement in 2016, but neither plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions anytime soon. China said it would “peak” emissions by 2030 and India has been promised foreign aid to boost green energy production.

Nearly 200 countries agreed to the Paris accord in 2015, pledging to limit future global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 and transfer $100 billion a year from rich countries to poor countries starting in 2020.

Critics of Trump’s withdrawal say the U.S. will miss out on business opportunities in green energy outside of the Paris agreement. They say the U.S. abdicated leadership and with it economic opportunity.

Much of the green energy development over the next few decades will occur in China and India, according to BNEF. Those countries will see $4 trillion in investments in green energy through 2040.

“Beyond the term of a president, Donald Trump can’t change the structure of the global energy sector single-handedly,” Seb Henbest, lead author of the BNEF report, told Bloomberg.

Except, it’s unlikely the world’s largest economy would be left out of the alleged “green revolution.” Bloomberg predicts green energy will continue to grow in the U.S. regardless of Trump’s policies to boost fossil fuels.

BNEF expects global carbon dioxide emissions to peak in 2026, with the growth largely driven by developing economies. The group predicts $2.8 trillion to be invested in non-renewable energy capacity, like natural gas.

Green energy additions will be driven by falling costs and also government policies to phase out fossil fuels to fight global warming. Many U.S. states, for example, mandate ever-growing shares of their electricity come from green sources.

Wind and solar power will make up nearly half the world’s electricity capacity, BNEF claims, and meet 34 percent of electricity needs. Today those sources only generate 5 percent of global electricity.

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