Green Energy Investments Beat Fossil Fuel For First Time in History

wind turbines at night USABy Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jun 5 (IPS) 

The world has turned a green corner toward a more sustainable future, with investments in clean energy outpacing fossil fuel power generation for the first time.

Despite the global economic crisis, a record 155 billion dollars was invested in clean energy companies and projects worldwide last year, mainly in wind and solar, according to a new report from the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).

More remarkably, that investment in clean energy topped 2007’s record investments by five percent, in large part as a result of investments by China, Brazil and other emerging economies.

Achim Steiner, UNEP’s executive director, says that “2008 was the first year where there was more investment in non-carbon energy sources than in high carbon and nuclear energy.”

“That’s hugely significant,” Steiner told IPS in an interview.

UNEP has been calling for a “Global Green New Deal” to jump-start the global economy and use the various economic stimulus packages to make investments in clean technologies and ‘natural’ infrastructure such as forests and soils. Experts argue that this is the best bet for real growth, combating climate change and sparking an employment boom in the 21st century.

“There are literally millions of new jobs that could be created in the next few years,” Steiner said. Continue reading

New $Billion Cash Hand Out To Fossil Fuel Companies Under ‘Green’ Economic Stimulus Plans

Shell in Curacao, Netherlands - Humane Care Fondation, Curacao[Updated: Monday Sept 28/09

Last Friday at the G20 countries agreed to phase out subsidies for oil and other carbon dioxide-spewing fossil fuels in the “medium term” as part of efforts to combat global warming. This article documents NEW taxpayer subsidies to some of the world’s richest corporations]


By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 29 2009 (IPS)

Despite the economic slow down, growing numbers of world leaders are calling for urgent action on climate change while many governments used their economic stimulus packages to increase subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Consider Europe, with the strongest public commitment to reduce carbon emissions that are causing climate change.

In the past five years, 8 billion U.S. dollars of public money went to Europe’s fossil fuel companies mainly to the natural gas sector. And in May the European Parliament approved an additional 3.35 billion dollars in subsides as part of Europe’s 225 billion dollars economic recovery plan, according to a new research report by Friends of the Earth Europe.

“We Europeans are supposedly leading the world on the path to a new green economy but we’re putting billions of euros into fossil fuel sector that’s taking us in the opposite direction,” Darek Urbaniak of Friends of the Earth Europe.

gulf spill nears coast Apr 30 2010 - ESA

Its complete hypocrisy,” Urbaniak told IPS from Brussels.

Perhaps recognising this fact, global business leaders at the World Business Summit on Climate Change that concluded May 26 called on governments to “strive to end the current perverse subsidies that favour high-emissions transport and energy”.
Continue reading