UN: $3.1 Trillion Required by 2030 to Limit Global Warming to 2C

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A recently released UN report, GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT 2020, berates the world for not doing enough to transition to renewables.

GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT 2020

It is nothing new to say that clean energy is better for the planet, and humanity, than energy derived from fossil fuels. Its benefits in avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, delivering cleaner air and bringing energy to marginalized communities are essential to a better future for all. What is new is that the world has a unique opportunity to accelerate clean development by putting renewable energy at the heart of Covid-19 economic recovery plans.

Governments will inject huge amounts of money into their economies as they look to bounce back from Covid-19 lockdowns, which have saved lives but stopped growth and cost jobs. This new report, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020, shows that putting these dollars into renewables will buy more generation capacity than ever before, and help governments deliver stronger climate action under the Paris Agreement.

This is great progress, but there is room to do much more. Nations and corporations have made clean energy commitments over the next decade. Analyzing them in its focus chapter, the report finds commitments for 826GW of new non-hydro renewable power capacity by 2030, at a likely cost of around $1 trillion. However, these commitments fall far short of what is needed to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius under the Paris Agreement. It also falls short of last decade’s achievements, which brought around 1,200GW of new capacity for $2.7 trillion.

The U.S. edged ahead of Europe in terms of renewables investment last year. The U.S. invested $55.5 billion, up 28%, helped by a record rush of onshore wind financings to take advantage of tax credits before their expected expiry, while Europe committed $54.6 billion, down 7%.

As part of the Paris Agreement in 2015 countries agreed to a common goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures this century to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim of keeping the increase at 1.5 degrees. Even limiting the increase to 2 degrees would require the gross addition of some 2,836GW of new non-hydro renewable energy capacity by 2030, according to the base-case scenario in BloombergNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2019. The latter’s projection of the technology mix, based on the evolution of relative costs, is for this to consist of 1,646GW of solar, 1,156GW of wind, and 34GW of other non-hydro renewables, at an estimated cost of $3.1 trillion over the decade.

This section supports the message of the latest UNEP Emission Gap Report that there is a big gulf between countries’ current ambitions, even those as expressed in their Nationally Determined Contributions for the Paris Agreement, and what the science tells us needs to be done about global emissions by 2030.

Read more: https://www.fs-unep-centre.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/GTR_2020.pdf

The report is hopeful costs will continue to fall.

I found the section on trends interesting; European investment in renewables fell 7% over the last year, while US investment was up 28%. For all their big talk of imposing border carbon taxes on US imports into Europe, European leaders are in no position to criticise other people’s climate efforts.

80 thoughts on “UN: $3.1 Trillion Required by 2030 to Limit Global Warming to 2C

  1. The Bloomberg figures don’t pass even a rudimentary sense check. Offshore wind is £3/MW. 1156 GW is therefore going to cost more than £3 trillion on its own.

      • Curious George

        £3tn in the UK alone to reach NetZero (or not) in the UK alone.

        That’s not counting the upgrading of the entire national grid.

        Nor does it count the rare earth minerals which would use the entire global production from now until 2050 for the UK alone.

        And whilst it accounts for the ‘insulation’ and upgrading of domestic heating systems , the British government have never done a costing exercise for this, nor a manpower assessment.

        Prof Michael Kelly has though, and he estimates that the country simply doesn’t have the physical manpower to achieve the mammoth task of re-plumbing/rewiring/re-insulating etc. 16m homes by 2050. Nor does Michael Kelly make mention of the need for whole house ventilation as much of the UK’s housing stock is solid masonry construction, Victorian buildings which were designed for open fireplaces (now largely blocked up) and draughty windows and doors to allow air circulation to eliminate damp problems.

        In my opinion, considering the usual Britsh government incompetence with spreadsheets, the country is looking at a £5tn bill by 2050.

        Two Chances!

        https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/02/KellyNetZero-2.pdf

    • The Bloomberg estimated cost does not take into account… engineering reality. Engineering reality does not change.

      The fundamental truth/scam about intermittent power is, if there is no magic grid size electric battery there is a grid point where there will be no reduction in CO2 emissions, by installing more wind and sun gathering.

      The estimate costs to actually reduce CO2 emissions (rather than just install stuff and damage the environment) to enable the electrical grid to use….

      ….up to the maximum power the electric grid can use. To go beyond that point requires the magic electric grid battery that will be required…

      … for the weeks and months when there is insufficient wind and sun power….

      …to power steel mills, power airplanes, power ships, power trains, power manufacturing plants, power data centers, power cities, and so on for the roughly 70% of the time the intermittent power is not available.

      As there is no magic battery…. It is madness to force the installation of wind gathering equipment past the grid’s ability to use the intermittent power.

      The German people are obsessed with idea of installing green stuff…. and hence have gone well past the point where the green energy can be used in Germany.

      “Engineering reality is tough and cheaters will eventually get caught.

      German Politicians cannot accept reality and it is easy to get government analysts to lie through their teeth producing large purposeless fat documents that hid the lies.

      Germany has installed sufficient sun and wind gathering to meet German’s total energy needs if the German engineers had or could buy magic batteries, that store energy for months and are free.

      Obviously as there are no magic batteries, Germany cheats by exporting half of their wind based electricity to other countries who then return hydrocarbon or nuclear energy.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/21/germanys-green-transition-has-hit-a-brick-wall/

      In 2017 about half of Germany’s wind-based electricity production was exported. Neighboring countries typically do not want this often unexpected power, and the German power companies must therefore pay them to get rid of the excess. German customers have to pick up the bill.

      Germany has installed solar and wind power to such an extent that it should theoretically be able to satisfy the power requirement on any day that provides sufficient sunshine and wind. However, since sun and wind are often lacking – in Germany even more so than in other countries like Italy or Greece – the country only manages to produce around 27% of its annual electric power needs from these sources.

      • I think Australia has reached a similar point to Germany with renewables having reached a level where building more adds nothing and doesn’t help with intermittency. Unfortunately we don’t have any neighbours to scrounge some supply from when we need it.

  2. A large investment by western nations would do very little to boost their economies, but would do lots for the Chinese economy.

    What a typical push for the UN.

    • ExACTly Hasbeen!!

      A massive transfer of funds to the Asian and Chinese economies via ‘renewables’ equipment purchases.

  3. And…what exactly is the UN doing? Nearly all news I’ve heard states they aren’t on track with their own goals. And… why do they think they can limit Earth’s warming? Silly when they proposed it. More silly as they continue to propose it.

  4. That money would be wasted anyway. We can’t control the weather, so we can’t control climate. I learned that in the 50’s. Nothing has changed.

    • That would be $3.1 trillion no longer available for other trivial needs such as food, medicine, clean water, etc. But then, maybe that’s the real goal of this evil and stupid Malthusian program. What better way to clear out the excess inventory of inconvenient humans for the greater good of a few select elites?

      • With each passing day, I favour any ‘spare’ money being spent to revamp and improve educational systems in our own countries.
        Have just viewed a video of dozens of thugs looting a Nike store in USA. They give the impression that looting is a common right, that nobody has tried to educate them that it is a social wrong. There are many concerns that track back to sub-standard education. Geoff S

        • No looting is not a common right only ‘government’/those in power can do so. Just try not to pay the IRS. Direct Taxation made you less than a slave and gave those in power the right to know EVERYTHING about you.

  5. Yes, let’s just plop giant windmills and panels all over the friggin’ landscape, and let’s bankrupt the kulaks with draconian taxation in doing so. THAT’S a good idea!

    • Why are names of people within the U.N. who are making these decisions not being named? Isn’t it time to identify exactly who is still pushing the industrial scale renewable agenda?

      • What would be the point of naming them ?

        Any officer of the UN had total immunity from prosecution, in all jurisdictions on the planet. There is and never will be any audit nor accountability. They are not elected and there is no legal means to recall them.

        What would be the point of naming them ?

        The only solution is to stop taking any notice of the UN outside its core function of avoiding wars of aggression. They only have the power we agree to let them have.

        • They should be named.
          Everyone should be named.
          Just because they have legal immunity does not mean they have moral immunity.
          Let them and their families, friends and supporters hang their heads in shame.

      • The UN head honcho, Antonio Guterres was president of Socialist International before taking the top job. The UN goal has always been world government, by the UN and a socialist world. To achieve that you have to destroy the capitalist economies. That’s why they are using windmills and solar panels.

      • Instead of wasting money on renewable energy boondoggles that don’t work, how about saving that $3.1 trillion? Then, if warming occurs and is actually net negative rather than net positive for the planet’s inhabitants, we can use the money to adapt to the warming. And if the warming turns out to be more beneficial than harmful, we will still have that money to use for something that benefits the world (or, more likely, to use to fight off the next scary boogieman radical environmentalists and leftist politicians invent).

  6. There is absolutely nothing logical about the statement ending in “putting renewable energy at the heart of Covid-19 economic recovery plans.” This is another fine example of UN siding with environmental extremists, socialistas, China, and associates. The expectation is that the USA will pay for this, because they are presumed guilty and they have the economic strength/money reserve to handle it. A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you are talking about real money. Go nuclear! But utilize modern designs and give consideration to siting issues.

  7. Is there a problem with hydro-electric? Keeping freshwater from rising the sea-level might be the only way to go. 🙂

    • After the fresh water has generated the hydroelectricity, does it not end up in the ocean anyway? Or does it then totally evaporate? How does hydro have any effect one way or another on sea level?

      • The dam creates a large storage body of water. Eventually the impounded lake fills up and stays more or less in equilibrium, but a large body of water is removed from entering the sea. Trival? Probably! Important? Yes, it provides a good place to catch fish, and if you eat fish you can drink white wine without heckling from your “friends”.

        • Are you kidding me right now?! When the reservoir is filled, the river keeps flowing. Eventually you have just as much water hitting the ocean. Most FERC dam licenses require “run-of-river” operation where what comes into the reservoir, must go out. And hydro is bad for fish.

          • Riddle me this. If the dam collapses and all that water flows out to the ocean, does that increase the amount of water in the ocean.
            If it does, then the dam kept some water out of the ocean.

            The fact that once the dam is full everything returns to steady state does not change the fact that water has moved from the ocean to behind the dam.

      • Once the lake is developed to create enough “head-pressure” to spin the generators, there is enough head pressure throughout the entire lakebed to regenerate aquifers and such. Not like it will have any effect on ocean level but, that wasn’t really the point.

        Why is Hydro-electric generation treated differently? It works and it’s renewable. The White river in the Ozarks has wonderful fishing and watersports of all types. As an example.

        • Natural self-sustaining fish populations are typically traded for more expensive hatchery reared/supported populations or less desirable species. Also typically creates habitats more supportive of invasive species.

  8. The use of renewables is idiotic – small modular molten salt reactors can be brought on line faster., provide reliable power which doesn’t need fossil fuel back up like wind/solar and is safer and costs a fraction of the cost of short lived renewables. For example, the entire power out put ofthe U.S>, including enough to power a fleet of electric vehicles would cost less than a trillion dollars. And these generators would last over 60 years.
    The U.N. is totally ignorant about future power generation

    • Speaking of being brought on-line quickly, have they managed to build even one commercial unit yet?

      • Maybe when EV sales in the U.S. exceed 10% or 5% or even 2% of vehicles. Maybe in 2025 or 2030 or maybe…

      • Nope, so far MSRs are a total fantasy right up there with fusion. More realistic to park a sub or aircraft carrier or even a barge with a PWR in the harbour and plug it in where the standby diesel generator used to go…..oh yeah…the Russians are already doing that…..

  9. What about the trillions need for chinese covid?

    Now another outbreak in another meat market, more trillions needed… BLM are destroying cities, so billions needed.

    • We can take care of many problems and teach some metric units at the same time. Everyone that submits a 1040 gets a 9 mm handgun and a box of ammo.

    • More like 5T$ for Covid. The first aid package was 1T$. Add lost income and lost opportunity.

  10. “these commitments fall far short of what is needed to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees”
    All said with a straight face. If it wasn’t killing people you’d have to larf.
    Good Grief.

  11. It supports a conclusion that renewables are not about CO2 emissions that help to feed the planet by burning much cheaper fossil fuels and making more CO2 available for photosynthesis, but about destroying the planet for some people to make a lot of money by bulldozing even more natural environments and killing the precious and unique species that live there.

    Hi, I am a geophysicist and a conservationist. You can read about the science of anthropogenic global warming, a.k.a. ‘climate change’ by searching for ‘Quora, John Bruyn’.

  12. “It is nothing new to say that clean energy is better for the planet, and humanity, than energy derived from fossil fuels.”
    Yes. Just like it is nothing new to say that there is a pot of gold waiting for you at the end of a rainbow.

  13. To 2C of the assumed/asserted/inferred optimum, excluding the 10, 20, 40+ temperature swings that are the normal range.

  14. Now that Bank of England ex-governor Mark Carney has taken the wheel at the UN , his Green Finance Initiative looks to be the direction of travel.
    Carney laid it all out at the FED Jackson Hole meeting last August, and even got full backing from BlackRock, the largest global hedge fund. So the EU and BoJo can claim support of the establishment for their repackaging.
    So much for Brexit.
    It is still from Bank of England, British, in other words. And it is as usual Malthusian, who after all was a parson of the Queen’s very own Church.

  15. “It is nothing new to say that clean energy is better for the planet, and humanity, than energy derived from fossil fuels.”

    It’s nothing new, but it’s still not accurate.

  16. 2C of warming.
    1) It isn’t going to happen, it’s taken 150 years to warm less than 1C, and the rate is slowing, not accelerating.
    2) Even if it did, so what. Mild warming like that would be 100% beneficial.

  17. $3.1 Trillion Required by 2030

    No worries – the US will pay the bill. What I hear chances of President Trump are on decline and his successor will happily pay all outstanding bills as repentance for last 5 years.

    • Trump’s chances were on the decline before the 2016 election, too.

      The Leftwing Media is trying very hard to make it appear that Trump’s chances are on the delcine. Just like they did in 2016. It turned out to be untrue in 2016.

      Don’t believe the Leftwing Media because they have a leftwing political agenda to push to the public, so what they say is tainted by leftwing politics.

    • But why $3.1? why not $3.15? Or better $3.2? Is the .1 supposed to make it look like they actually figured it out?

  18. How much to BUY 2C of warming?–you couldn’t get across the high ground on one of BC’s major freeways (97C) this morning without snow tires.

    A decade ago it was mandatory in BC if traveling out of the lower mainland to be equipped with snow tires until March 31st; a few years ago due to changing weather conditions it was extended by law to April 30th. Now they seem needed until mid-June. Can anyone not see the trend here?

    Of course some will say ‘that’s just weather’. Over that length of time I’m not so sure. 10C this morning in a cold rain with a fire in the woodstove–in June. In the BC lower mainland. And someone wants $3.1 trillion to prevent warming.

    I’d post the Ron White ‘You Can’t Fix Stupid’ video link here, but I think it’s been needed so often that Dave Middleton might have it copyrighted.

  19. No one, even on this site today on this topic, has yet mentioned that the Developing World of over 5 billion people are developing using coal-fired electrical generation and places like Bangladesh, GDP growth 8%+/year, Pakistan 6%, Africa 3+% are doing it with new, clean coal plants. These folk are beginning to become prosperous and will want a spanking new car and a bunch of other gizmos as and when they get there.

    ‘It seems it IS something new to say’ that whinging, whining, and self immolating in the West won’t prevent us from going through with the Great Global CO2 Experiment^тм. Nothing will stop it. We will definitively know precisely what the Climate Sensitivity is to several decimal places. We will know how much Greening the planet can withstand for those many worrying about that, or how it will effect crops.

    Some of you know what my take is => Garden of Eden Earth^тм and full fledging out of global prosperity. There is an abundance of mineral resources and the population will wind up about what it is now by 2100 once prosperity accelerates reduction in ‘fertility’.

    This would be the end of Soshulists-Malthusian dystopians. Given their flawless record of failure at predicting anything, they will be unaware of all this for now, but like lambs in a holding pen at the abbatoir, they sense something isn’t quite right.

    • I doubt that “global prosperity,” even if it happens (it won’t) will do the trick to reduce fertility- and I mean specifically where birthrates will be the greatest. Aren’t there genetic, cultural, religious, intelligence, and even hormonal reasons for high birthrate?

  20. Investments in renewable energy are vanity projects for prosperous societies. Now that we have destroyed prosperity in most of the developed world by locking down economies, there isn’t any money to waste on renewable energy. Heck, even Gavin Newsome has admitted that California cannot afford to waste money on clean energy projects.

  21. “…The U.S. invested $55.5 billion, up 28%, helped by a record rush of onshore wind financings to take advantage of tax credits before their expected expiry…”

    Well the tax credits were paid by the U.S., too…

  22. No point in going on about global warming, climate change, renewables, etc. The cat is out of the bag in capital letters, the emperor is naked, the sky is NOT falling, and the boy cried wolf again…and again.
    This never was about weather or climate.
    Engaging these people on climate is playing to their smokescreen! Cut right through the BS we all see and call their bluff now!

  23. To heck with wind and solar. I say we transition to horses.

    Horses are renewable. They recycle their food into great fertilizer. You can ride ’em to work.

    And they are cute.

  24. All you need to know about horses, is that one end bites, and the other, kicks.

    Tony

  25. The late senator Everett Dirkson once said ” A billion $ here, a billion $ there and pretty soon your talking about real money”. Now we need to update his saying from Billion to Trillion.

    At the rate the US is printing money it will be clown currency soon enough.

  26. Just create tonnes of debt and pass it on to the next generation. After all, it their lives we are saving, right?

  27. 3, 10, 20, 40+ temperature swings. This is, today, yesterday, always and forevermore, [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] climate cooling… warming… change. Our future is not viable. We’re all going to be planned (i.e. aborted, dodo dynasties) if this progresses (i.e. monotonic change). Buy carbon credit indulgences to be socially just. Bray to whatever mortal god or goddess offers you secular lucre.

  28. https://raveendrannarayanan.wordpress.com/2020/03/01/air-conditioning-the-mother-earth-2/

    https://raveendrannarayanan.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/arrested-catagory-six-hurricanes-4/

    https://raveendrannarayanandotcom1.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/three-degree-centigrade-reduction-is-possible-now-without-dollars/

    https://wp.me/p39SBY-1Y
    What Kofi ANAN done to me during 1999?
    I WAS ONLY DOING OCEAN’S ANALYSIS .

    During #COVID19PANDEMIC #UNFCCC declared that they need $600 TRILLION to CORRECT the CLIMATE until 2050.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/10/10/ipcc-demands-122-trillion-to-fight-the-global-war-on-weather/

    IPCC needs $122 TRILLION for Climate Correction, BUT not C02 and GHG.

    WITHOUT A DOLLAR WE CAN AIR CONDITION THE MOTHER EARTH.

    https://raveendrannarayanan.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/nominate-for-nobel-peace-prize-2015/ ” NOMINATE FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 🏆 2020″

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/arctic-sea-ice-icebreaker-trapped-resupplying-moasic/

    #GlobalWarmingGroupsSettingFire
    #unep #unfccc #noaa #ipcc #parisagreement #pulitzerprize #nobelpeaceprizecommitte #350org #notco2 #nasa #cop26 #waterprize #stopsearisenow #climatestrike
    #climatekliptomania
    #ClimateHoax #climateemergency
    #airconditioningthemotherearth #ChallengingGlacialScintists
    #raveendrannarayanan

  29. The reality is that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. So spending huge sums of money trying to control the climate will have no effect. We are far better off trying to improve the global economy so that we can better deal with the effects of extreme weather events. The best way to reduce our burning of fossil fuels is to replace ageing fossil fuel plants with nuclear power plants.

  30. “This is great progress, but there is room to do much more. Nations and corporations have made clean energy commitments over the next decade. Analyzing them in its focus chapter, the report finds commitments for 826GW of new non-hydro renewable power capacity by 2030, at a likely cost of around $1 trillion”

    So these UN bureaucrats admit in broad delight that it is about the money after all?

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/29/numnut-un-bureaucrat/

  31. If you are going to flush $3.1 trillion down the toilet, why not try to develop fusion reactors or thorium reactors.
    Who knows, someone might actually succeed.

    • “thorium reactor” is just another name for a *Weapons Grade Uranium/Plutonium Breeder Reactor” because the system has to convert the thorium into uranium before it can be put into the power cycle.

      You’ve got some reading to do. We already have 5 ‘working’ thorium systems.

      Molten Salt reactors destroy their own parts within a year of installation.

      • Your comment seems a bit puzzling, since the ability of the Molten Salt type of reactor to ‘breed’ more fissile material from thorium is something I’ve seen touted as a benefit of that kind of technology, see for instance, https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/254692-new-molten-salt-thorium-reactor-first-time-decades

        Also, I had thought the potential to produce plutonium, as such, is something that is most often associated with breeder reactor designs based on using naturally occurring uranium, U-238, as the base fuel? With thorium, it isn’t plutonium that is produced, generally, rather it is supposed to be a fissile isotope of uranium, U-233, that is made as the ‘good’ reaction sustaining material? Unless of course, you are worried that people will purify it to make bombs, *then* the U-233 could be the ‘bad’ reaction sustaining material, much like plutonium, I suppose.

        The following article makes a comparison between uranium based fuel cycles and thorium ones that seems to favour thorium: https://www.scienceabc.com/innovation/why-is-thorium-a-potentially-safer-alternative-to-uranium-not-used-in-nuclear-reactors.html
        The article states that,
        “The thorium fuel cycle also produces plutonium, but the non-weaponizable isotope (plutonium-238). U233 can also be used in nuclear weapons, but the presence of U232 in the mixture negates its capabilities.”

  32. Energy storage? The problem with energy storage is that the motive force of the storage system falls as energy is used, e.g water pressure falls as a reservoir empties or voltage falls as a battery discharges. Something has to be put in place to keep the voltage constant. Secondly, the electric power in the grid is AC & batteries only store DC, so again something else has to be put in place to convert the battery’s DC output to AC, all more expense & complexity.

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