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- Maynard Holt
The next 20 years will be critical to provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy to the growing world population. United Nations’ estimates suggest that per capita energy consumption at approximately 100 Gigajoules is associated with substantial human development. Today, 80% of the world’s population live in countries with energy consumption below this level. Reducing that number to one-third of the population by 2040 would require around 65% more energy. The United States, Europe, and China have been the major emitters while developing Asia and Africa per capita energy use and GHG emissions are very low. In order to meet their citizens’ economic aspirations, these countries require a bigger share of the remaining carbon budget. While the phrase “just transition” is currently in vogue, what does it mean to you? Multilateral development banks have stopped or will soon stop lending for hydrocarbon projects; will this approach reduce emissions? There was renewed commitment at Glasgow to provide $100 billion climate finance annually. Many have called this a floor, not a ceiling. What is needed to fast track climate finance? While coal is the single largest source of emissions and a major fuel in many developing countries, how can we accelerate phasing out coal? Globally, renewables are now cost competitive, however, borrowing costs for clean energy projects are significantly higher in emerging economies than OECD. How could this risk premium be reduced to attract investment in developing countries? How should the global energy industry meet this dual challenge?