We have created damage that can have a great impact, we have realized what we have done, we want to decrease the damage, but still we can’t put enough money where our mouth is!
This is shown in the latest country by country report on renewable energy investments. Of course, there are many factors to account for the investment made by each nation, but the speed at which we are switching to green energies is not fast enough to keep up with the ongoing damage process.
There is an interesting, still upsetting trend when speaking about green energy investments.
The good part is that despite the misconception about renewables being an expensive alternative, developing countries are the ones that make the biggest investments in this direction. The 2016 United Nations Environmental Programme report on GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT found that developing countries including China, Brazil, and India invested more than €140 BN, 19% more than 2014, while industrialised nations invested 8% less, a little over €126 BN, not included in this, are investments in hydropower plants.
Besides the commitment to greenhouse gas reduction, the reason these countries are upping their game in renewables is the realization of the long-term potential of these technologies and the realization that local power production is more reliable than imported commodities.
The European market for green energy production had a 21% drop in 2015 – meaning €44.3 BN was invested. Still, countries in Europe remain top of the list when speaking of climate change performance. The Climate Change Performance Index for 2016 ranks Denmark, UK, and Sweden as the countries with the best scores on prevention.
The index skips awarding the first three positions to any country in the world “because, again, no country has done enough to prevent the dangerous impacts of climate change.”
But according to the report, Denmark is rated fourth and can be regarded as an example because they have already implemented “effective climate protection policies for energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energies”.
Fifth from the top is the United Kingdom which continues to expand on renewables and has set a deadline to get rid of coal energy production. Close behind is Sweden which dropped to the sixth position due to bad policy decisions but still is one of the most energy-efficient countries in the world, followed by France which has a decreasing emissions trend as well as positive growth rates on renewables.
Even if European countries are some of the most energy efficient, recent governmental changes are putting pressure on the continued progress in the drive towards a more sustainable future. They are taking the focus away from environmental policy making, even canceling existing energy targets and making cuts on climate change prevention measures – none of which bodes well for the immediate future. More must be done by all to ensure progress is not halted.
Now is the worst time to let the guard down on preventing and combating climate change, not only for moral reasons but because of previous investment granted the technological advances within this field and any cutbacks in investment and policy making mean nothing but regression.
More must be done by all to ensure progress is not halted.