US clean energy investments rose 35% in 2011 to a record $55.9 billion, while China's clean energy investments rose one percent to $47.4 billion. Together, these two countries accounted for almost 40% of the record $260 billion invested in clean energy worldwide last year. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global clean energy investments in 2011 were five times the investments made just seven years ago.
Much of this investment came from private investors who understand that the enormous risks climate change poses for companies and countries are also creating tremendous investment opportunities.
These risks were addressed recently at the biennial United Nations for the Investor Summit on Climate Risk & Energy Solutions, sponsored by Ceres, the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations Office for Partnerships. Some 450 global investors representing more than $26 trillion in assets gathered at the summit to discuss the risks and opportunities of climate change.
The investors called for greater private investment in low-carbon technologies and tougher scrutiny of climate risks across their portfolios. They also announced new guidelines on how companies should address climate risks and opportunities, and promised closer scrutiny of companies that ignore the risks of climate change.
Click here for more information and to watch a webcast of the summit.
John J.P. Howley