Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel—host of this year’s G7 meeting—announced that G7 nations have agreed to phase out of fossil fuel combustion by the end of the century. “Deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century,” the declaration stated.
The commitment is consistent with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which last year stated that the world faces “severe, pervasive and irreversible” damage from climate change unless economies all but entirely end unrestricted fossil fuel combustion by 2100.
The following comments may be attributed to Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada:
It’s encouraging to see world leaders lighting a fire under existing efforts to decarbonize the global economy. This is already a $1 trillion market—which is expected to more than double in the next decade—and Canada boasts competencies in a whole range of sectors.
Investors will be taking note of today’s signal from world leaders. We’re expecting it will lead to stronger policy, and investment dollars will follow. Inevitably, more capital will flow into clean energy solutions, and that means more opportunities for Canadian businesses.
Just two weeks ago, Analytica Advisors noted that Canada’s clean tech sector grew 18 percent. This is good news, but most of that growth is happening at home—our share of the global market declined, even as the size of that opportunity doubled.
Study after study has found that to decarbonize the economy, we need to dramatically scale up use of renewable energy, and while the sector has been growing quickly a recent analysis by the International Energy Agency found that the world isn’t on track.
But it’s worth noting that in recent years, real world deployment of wind and solar has significantly outpaced past predictions from the International Energy Agency. With continued technology improvements and declining costs, there’s room for real optimism.
Canada has a real chance to lead—we already source more than 65 percent of our electricity from renewable sources, and have the resource potential to drive that up. We can increasingly electrify our economy with clean energy—powering industry, heating buildings and transitioning to electric vehicles.