Fossil fuel growth is undercutting clean energy’s progress

(Inside Climate News, 7 Oct 2022) Clean energy is seeing a surge of new development all around the world, according to a series of new reports, with electricity produced from carbon-free wind and solar power helping to fill rising global energy demand. But the benefits from the new renewable energy, including its impact on greenhouse gas emissions, are being simultaneously undermined by a rise in new fossil fuel projects coming online.

With the COP27 global climate talks just a month away, and early indicators suggesting the world is still far off track from meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, it’s the latest reminder that fossil fuels maintain a stubborn grip on the world economy and continue to jeopardize the effort to stave off catastrophic climate change by the end of the century.

In fact, to even have a chance of meeting the international climate accord’s Herculean task of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 to limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, investments in clean energy need to quadruple within the decade, according to a new analysis by BloombergNEF. Fossil fuel investments continue to outpace those in renewable energy, the report said, with about 90 cents going into renewable sources for every dollar spent on fossil fuels.

The result has been a boom in new clean energy infrastructure that, though impressive, is still struggling to flatten the rising trend of global greenhouse gas emissions. If that trend doesn’t change course soon, the cost for governments will only go up, officials from the International Monetary Fund, a leading global financial agency with the United Nations, said in another report published this week.

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Inside Climate News, 7 Oct 2022: Fossil fuel growth is undercutting clean energy’s progress