The Linkage Between Income Distribution and Clean Energy investments: Addressing Financing Cost. Climate Change and Sustainable Development Series.
The economic and environmental need to transition to a low-carbon economy is now at the forefront of energy science, engineering, and policy discussions in the U.S. and internationally. Former Vice President Gore has called for a 100% decarbonization over 10 years and California, Japan, and the UK are notable for a growing list of municipalities legislating 70% or more decarbonization goals over the next four to five decades. Thus far much of the effort has been focused on technology and policy solutions, with very little attention given to how this change can be enabled through financing.
For example, there have been a series of business-led discussions and proposals on how to develop energy-efficiency master plans at all levels—company, municipality, and country. An exciting aspect has been the presence of so many innovative industry partners and governments that have not only developed, but started practicing important renewable energy and energy-efficiency solutions.
At the World Bank and in my role as a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, I have been in many exciting meetings where the “enabling environment” of clean energy versus fossil fuel costs comes to the forefront of the conversation.