As world leaders converge on New York for tomorrow’s UN Global Climate Summit, a new report reveals how falling equipment costs, strong investor interest, and government and business leadership are driving a global clean energy revolution.
Further, provincial governments are helping Canada play a growing role in that revolution, despite scant federal support for the sector.
“When it comes to addressing climate disruption, the countries that succeed on the world stage are those taking action at home,” said Merran Smith, director of Clean Energy Canada, which produced today’s report. “We found scores of countries and leading companies—from China to the United States—that are fighting climate disruption by cleaning up their energy systems.”
The result, Tracking the Energy Revolution, paints a vivid picture of how the world is working to reduce its dependence on the fossil fuels that are disrupting our climate:
- 144 countries now have renewable-energy targets
- Last year, investors directed $207 billion into clean energy projects worldwide
- 60 percent of Fortune 100 firms have goals for boosting renewable energy use
- Last year was the first time China invested more money in new clean-energy capacity than it did in new coal plants.
- Worldwide, 6.5 million people now work in the renewable energy industry.
Thanks to provincial leadership, Canada is a significant player in the global clean energy market. In 2013, ours was the second-fastest growing clean-energy market in the G20, with a 45 percent increase in investment to $6.5 billion.
However, that success has come without benefit of significant federal policy support.
“Renewable energy is fast becoming the new business as usual, and Canada’s clean energy sector is a player in that booming global market,” Smith said. “Just imagine what the sector could do if our federal government stepped up to the plate to support it.”
The United Nations Climate Summit 2014 hosts leaders from government, finance, business, and civil society in New York. Organizers hope to mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement at next year’s UN climate negotiations in Paris.
Tracking the Energy Revolution is the first of a two-part series; the second report will focus on the state of the energy transition within Canada. Clean Energy Canada works to accelerate Canada’s transition to an energy-efficient, ecologically responsible, and prosperous low-carbon economy.