Here are some FT journalists answering questions around the impact of green policies on the growth of developing countries. The main points are:
- Under the Paris climate agreement there is currently no obligation for developing countries to implement green policies.
- It is unfair for developed economies to ask developing countries to stop their oil and gas industry when they themselves has accrued the benefits of energy extraction.
- China has invested hugely in solar energy – this is seen as the next industrial revolution
- Over last decade China has committed over $780bn to wind and solar energy
- In 2019 29 countries spent $1bn or more on renewable energy – indicative of it becoming cheaper.
Developing countries bigger spenders than Developed countries
Developed countries were the first to embrace non- hydro renewables, back in the last decade, offering subsidies to encourage deployment. However, the sharpest increases in electricity demand, by far, are taking place in developing countries. The figure below shows that up to 2014, the majority of renewable energy capacity investment was in the developed world, but that every year since then, emerging economies have been dominant. In 2018, developed economies invested $125.8 billion, some 10% more than in the previous year, while developing countries committed $147.1 billion, down 24%. However, the different shades of green in the chart reveal that the latter change was entirely due to China and India. Investment in those two giants, taken together, fell 36% to $99.6 billion, while that in “other developing economies” rose 22% to a record $47.5 billion.
Developed vs Developing Countries – Investment in renewable energy 2004-2018 $bn
Source: Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019