Have we reached a “tipping point” in the face of climate change?
There are several indicators that the world is now responding more actively to try to reverse global warming, with the main emphasis being the substitution of renewable energy (mainly wind and solar power) for fossil fuels (ie coal and oil).
1) After a period in which low oil prices and policy uncertainty pushed investment in renewable energy down, world investment, largely in solar and wind, went up by 17% to $270bn (£180bn) last year, reversing a two-year dip. This is even though oil prices are still low.
2) China and the US are now cooperating significantly on climate change. Both have announced measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. China will slow and then stop its emissions by 2030 while the United States agreed to reduce emissions by up to 28% by 2025.
3) Central banks and financial regulators are starting to incorporate sustainability into their lending activities. In China, there’s growing momentum for building a ‘green financial system’ to tackle the country’s serious environmental problems. China, already the world’s largest wind power user, plans within five years to have more than double the capacity of all of Europe.
4) Costa Rica has managed to make its energy system powered 100% by renewable energy in 2015 and Costa Ricans are enjoying falling energy prices.