Climate Prosperity: Building a Worldwide Clean Economy

November 4, 2009 at 1:41 PM 1 comment

As world leaders begin to pack their bags for the Climate Summit in Copenhagen next month, feelings of anxiety may accompany the pressure to hammer out an international agreement to cap carbon emissions to keep our planet from entering a period of climate crisis. A group of people involved in the Climate Prosperity Alliance are working to shift the debate to a more positive and productive goal.

Instead of focusing on carbon-reduction strategies and schemes like cap and trade, “clean coal”, or carbon sequestration, the Climate Prosperity Alliance believes the Copenhagen Summit should be the entryway that leads the world into a global green economy.

While some analysts are already predicting a dismal outcome for the conference, citing the inability of major players such as the United States, India, and China to come to agreements on limiting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they produce, Hazel Henderson of the Climate Prosperity Alliance sees another opportunity for victory. “The real win”, says Henderson, “would be to get all the countries in the North and South to agree that the best thing to do is invest in the developing world, building the infrastructure that would allow it to leapfrog the fossil fuel economy. Everyone is in favor of investing in low-emissions energy”.


The Climate Prosperity Alliance proposes that investing in a global infrastructure of renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, wind, and biofuel from algae, can not only prevent the creation of more greenhouse gases, but can foster a clean economy capable of competing with, and eventually overtaking traditional oil-dependent industrial practices.

Though the money necessary to fund this “re-industrialization” is considerable, investors are already showing interest in the project. In fact, the Climate Prosperity Alliance will arrive in Copenhagen with very good news – the announcement of the first $1 trillion in investments raised to build the global green economy. Henderson and the Climate Prosperity Alliance suggest that if the world focuses on investing $1 trillion per year from 2010 to 2020 in renewable projects in the developing world, the foundation will be laid for a clean energy economy capable of competing with, and eventually overpowering power sources dependent on oil.

This statement is supported by a report made by Climate Risk to the World Wildlife Fund using a computer model called CRISTAL (Climate Risk Industry Sector Technology Allocation) to calculate the speed required to re-industrialize the energy sectors to create a low-carbon economy and avoid catastrophic climate tipping points. “Government, industry and institutional investors can expect to see the benefits of their investment in transforming the energy sector from 2013. This is the point when the first of the renewable energy technologies starts to outperform the current fossil fuel, business-as-usual model.”

The report predicts the scale of renewable energy savings from 2013 to 2050 is expected to be in excess of US $41 trillion in a scenario where global greenhouse gas emissions are cut by 63 percent between 1990 and 2050, or over $47 trillion in the case that emissions for the same time period are reduced by 80 percent.

Climate Risk also indicates that a secure, long-term investment environment will be necessary to fund the global green economy. An innovative solution proposed by the Climate Prosperity Alliance is the issue of Climate Bonds whose proceeds go towards re-industrialization projects in the developing world. Buyers of these bonds are literally investing in the future, promoting clean energy and feeling secure about a positive return in more ways than just financial. The Alliance is also speaking to managers of pension funds, whose investments are generally stable and long-term, to divert their investments from hedge funds and oil-dependent companies into Climate Prosperity funds for the future.

Henderson added that in the fight against climate change, the obstacle is not a lack of money, but a lack of time. Every year of delay will increase the level of growth required and increase costs.

If the Alliance’s advice is taken to heart by world leaders in Copenhagen, we may yet succeed in moving the global economy by 2020 from its current system of resource-wasting industrialism to a new economically and environmentally sustainable resource-saving industrialism. “By itself,” states the Climate Risk report, “an emissions trading scheme will not promote the growth of important but initially higher-cost technologies. A comprehensive plan for low-carbon industrial development is an integral part of the solution. “


Entry filed under: Conservation, Energy, Green Help, National News. Tags: , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. iniliMomAlify  |  December 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    Amazing… kinda great subject. I’m goin to write about it also!!


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