Emerging economies like India, China and Brazil invested more in renewable technologies last year than the developed world, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.
Kerry said for the first time in history, despite the low price of coal, oil, and gas more of the world’s money was spent fostering renewable energy technologies than was spent on new fossil fuel plants.
“Over the past decade, the global renewable energy market has expanded more than six fold. Last year, investment in renewable energy was at an all-time high nearly USD 330 billion,” Kerry said in his remarks at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit here yesterday.
“That’s a revolution. And make no mistake: This is not only happening in industrialised countries. In fact, emerging economies like China, India and Brazil invested even more in renewable technologies last year than the developed world,” he said, adding that China alone invested more than USD 100 billion.
Kerry also underscored the economic opportunities presented for American companies by India’s plans to get almost half of its power capacity from non-fossil-based sources by 2030.
India plans to get 40 per cent of its power capacity from non-fossil-based sources by 2030, he said, adding that this will require bringing 200 gigawatts of additional renewable power online.
“Let me just add that American companies are already bidding on those projects and frankly, winning large and lucrative deals,” Kerry said.
China too has set a target that will require the country to add between 800 and 1,000 gigawatts of non-fossil energy, he said.
Kerry said that the cost of investing in clean energy was now far cheaper than paying for the consequences of climate change later and this is leading nations around the world to set their own ambitious emissions-target reductions.
“Countries are now working to turn those pledges into real, on-the-ground action and concrete projects, and foster new directions for economic growth in a low-carbon future. And as we work together to achieve our targets, those betting on renewable energy are going to win big,” Kerry said.
Noting that the pledges being made by countries in renewable technologies is not “conjecture”, Kerry said it was written right into the targets that even the world’s largest developing and fossil fuel-dependent economies have already announced.
“We are seeing a global surge, and as a result, in many places, clean energy has already reached cost parity with fossil fuels. And more and more people are directly reaping the economic benefits of this boom,” Kerry said.
“7.7 million people around the world are currently employed by the renewable energy industry and more than a million of those jobs have been added since 2014,” he added.
A United Nations-backed report released last month had said that India and China led the developing nations in investments made in renewable energy last year.