Economies are growing rapidly across the developing world, which is producing a dramatic increase in energy demand. A central challenge facing leaders at COP27 this week is how to meet that growing demand — and deliver electricity to the nearly 1 billion people who still lack it — while also phasing out the power source that is a primary driver of climate change and a major cause of sickness and disease: coal plants.
Meeting the challenge will require enormous amounts of new public and private capital to finance clean energy projects. If we hope to win the fight against climate change, the best estimates indicate that by 2030, which will arrive before we know it, global investment in clean energy must be at least four times investment in fossil fuels and gradually take over completely, with much of that investment directed to the developing world. Right now, we’re nowhere near that level.