Climate change has been pushed down the agenda at Davos this year because of the global financial and economic crisis. Nevertheless, the WEF study — co-authored with New Energy Finance (NEF) — stressed that vastly increased spending on protecting the environment was necessary.
Although "green investment" has increased more than fourfold, from US$30 billion to US$140 billion, between 2004 and 2008, it still would need to triple to meet the target set by the report’s authors. Annual spending of US$500 billion a year would be needed to prevent a temperature rise of more than 2° Celsius by 2030, they said.
In the transition from fossil fuels to a clean-energy strategy over the next 20 years, the study identified eight emerging, large-scale clean energy sectors considered crucial. They are: onshore wind, offshore wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal electricity generation, municipal solar waste-to-energy, sugar-based ethanol, cellulosic and next-generation biofuels, and geothermal power.
The study’s authors — Max von Bismarck and Anuradha Gurung of the WEF and Chris Greenwood and Michael Liebreich of NEF — said that "enormous investment in energy infrastructure is required to address the twin threats of energy insecurity and climate change".
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