The UN Climate Change Conference gets plenty of media coverage.

World leaders gathering and making climate pledges is certainly a noteworthy event.

But there was another noteworthy event that took place last week. And it didn’t receive as much attention.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released part of its latest report.

The IPCC gathers the scientific, economic and governmental consensus from 195 member countries.

These reports are more important than most people realize.

For smaller countries that can’t study climate change independently, they provide a blueprint.

They’re also the source of the information that’s later discussed at climate conferences.

The last one came out eight years ago and was the main source of scientific input to the Paris Agreement.

So what does the latest report say?

So Far, Government Efforts Are Lacking

Let’s start with the bad news first.

Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, the goal has been to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in this century.

The latest IPCC report shows that the window to make changes to meet this goal is rapidly closing.

The chances of ramping up efforts seem difficult due to the lack of political will around the world.

Only 24 countries are currently reducing emissions.

And the wealthiest of these 24 countries are doing the bare minimum when they could be doing more.

To make matters worse, it’s not enough that the world transitions to cleaner energy sources.

The IPCC also recommends investing in methods of removing carbon from the atmosphere.

This includes planting more trees and developing carbon storage technology.

In other words, the path to meet the 1.5 degree target won’t be easy.

Renewables Are Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels

Now, on to the good news.

The charts below from the IPCC show the same story with different types of clean energy.

The cost of renewables plunged over the last decade.

Renewable Energy Is Much Cheaper Than It Was 10 Years Ago

Renewable Energy Is Much Cheaper Than It Was 10 Years Ago

(Source: IPCC.)

Renewables are now cheaper than or competitive with fossil fuels.

They’re now the cheaper choice for most individuals and businesses.

And as their costs drop, the adoption rate skyrockets.

Renewable Energy Adoption Is Surging Around the World

Renewable Energy Adoption Is Surging Around the World

(Source: IPCC.)

These forms of energy still have plenty of room to grow.

They collectively make up less than a third of the global energy mix.

As for governments, the last IPCC report sparked the Paris Agreement.

I expect this one will spark more commitments at the next climate conference.

Besides, governments are already calling into question their reliance on countries like Russia for fossil fuels.

Together, this sets the stage for great opportunities in the renewables space.

You can check out Ian King’s Strategic Fortunes service for investment ideas on renewables.

It covers everything from solar power to battery technology.



Andrew Prince

Research Analyst, Strategic Fortunes

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