Global climate cash flows neared $400bn in 2014 – report

Finance for renewable energy and climate resilience increased 18% from 2013, calculates Climate Policy Initiative



By Megan Darby

Climate-friendly investments worldwide reached a record US$391 billion in 2014, up 18% from 2013 levels.

Private sources poured US$243 billion into renewable energy, a 26% increase on the previous year. Public investment rose steadily to $148 billion.

That is according to Climate Policy Initiative’s latest climate finance report, which covers flows within national borders as well as from rich to poor countries.

“There is more money than ever before being invested in low carbon and climate resilient action,” said lead author Barbara Buchner. “At the same time, more needs to happen.”

East Asia and the Pacific accounted for $119bn of the total, up 22% by 2013, with China alone the destination for $84bn.

Africa, Latin America, East Asia and the Caribbean received the bulk of funds for adaptation projects.

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Experts say trillions will be needed over the coming decades to hold global warming to 2C, the goal of next month’s Paris climate summit.

That includes targeted funds to help poorer countries green their economies and protect citizens from the impacts of climate change.

But in 2014 three quarters of the total and 92% of private money was spent in its country of origin.

“If countries get their domestic policy frameworks right, that really can trigger a big change in making money flow,” Buchner told Climate Home.

National contributions submitted to a UN climate deal set out policies in areas like clean energy, flood defences and forest protection for more than 160 countries.

These “give an indication countries are serious about this issue,” said Buchner.

Only 17% of the public finance went towards adaptation, however – measures to guard against weather extremes and sea level rise, which are of particular concern to the world’s poorest.

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