The International Energy Agency reported this summer that the price of making the global transition to a clean energy economy has risen by some 10 per cent over the past year because we have failed to act decisively on the issue. The cost of this additional investment now stands at US$44 trillion.
Most of this money will come from private investment. However, in order to shift private capital from dirty to clean energy, we must use our limited public resources wisely. Perversely, we currently do the opposite: countries spend some $500 billion annually to subsidise fossil fuels, a sum which exceeds the amount spent on promoting clean energy by more than 6:1. With governments actively tilting the playing field toward dirty fuels, it is difficult to see how we can engineer a transition towards clean energy.
The above excerpt was originally published in Juncture.
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