The climate war will be lost unless all of big business signs up
It will cost trillions to help the third world go green, and developed nations’ governments can’t foot the bill alone
The battle over climate change is putting an old maxim to the test: where there’s a will, there’s a way. The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow offers reasons to hope it will be proven correct, particularly on a challenge at the heart of the issue: financing the global transition to clean energy.
There is no longer any doubt about the will. Today, more than two thirds of global GDP is covered by some form of commitment to reach net-zero emissions. Turning these commitments into real action is the focus of COP26. And while much of the attention during and after the conference will be focused on national governments, they can’t do it alone.
Ramping up adoption of clean energy and other sustainable infrastructure fast enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change will require trillions of dollars in new investment — likely about $100-trillion. Most of that will have to come from the private sector, especially after the enormous toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on governmental budgets. This is particularly true in emerging markets and developing countries, where the need for investment in clean energy is most acute...