The opportunity in crisis
The Paris Agreement, which was made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, represented a major, long-term market signal. Countries, sub-national jurisdictions, business, industry and investors indicated they were aiming to get to net-zero emissions, virtually eliminating fossil fuel use. The sheer scale of investment across all sectors to meet this goal is mind-bogglingly large and represents an enormous restructuring of the global economy. These commitments also reflected the fact that the costs of renewable energy had fallen precipitously, and that in 2015 it already made both economic and environmental sense to shift investments from dirty to clean. Today this trend has only accelerated. Solar now offers “some of the lowest-cost electricity ever seen”, the International Energy Agency reported in 2020, and is expected to match global coal output this decade.
We should set our sights well beyond 100 per cent renewable energy use