In some rare good news from the energy sector, latest indicators show that investment in clean energy has been surging over the past five years to pass the $1 trillion mark this year with the highest rise in investment being in 2010. This news comes at a time when the UN is struggling to keep the Climate talks in Durban, South Africa on course even as large developed nations baulk at the idea of ratifying a binding deal. For many of these large countries, including the US and China, existing outside any binding legislation and policy is the only guarantee of competitive advantage in a world where the most industrialized nations call the shots. This is why the US declined to append its signature to the previous Kyoto Protocol and has continued to insist that climate change due to carbon emissions is more a subjective truth than an overarching reality.
Multiple studies have been commissioned by both government and private sector (especially big oil) to try and discredit the carbon emissions theory. With the political search for an answer to climate change getting more and more lost in enui and unable to tell the trees from the forest, it comes as a welcome relief to see that more dollars are going into research for renewable, sustainable and greener energy and technology.
This has perhaps been accelerated by the recent nuclear fallout in Japan that saw many industrialized countries that rely heavily on nuclear energy begin to rethink their long-term energy strategies. More specifically, Germany has led the increased search for alternative energy as she seeks to phase out her nuclear power plants through a series of decommissioning steps over the next twenty to thirty years.
As the world begins to feel the brunt of climate change, many are turning to the private sector and innovation for sustainable solutions that not only cut carbon emissions but also provide that much needed energy to drive the economic engines of the world. Government and in deed the UN has approached this all wrong as the solution is not to arbitrarily cut carbon emissions but rather to seek out green energy sources to replace the highly polluting fossil fuels. With the current trend of investment in alternative energy, a greener and more sustainable planet seems easier to imagine and anticipate.