Investment in greenhouse gas emission reduction fell last year despite the growing urgency of the climate crisis, and the benefits of outlays were cancelled out by investments globally in fossil fuels and other dirty industries, finds a report by the Climate Policy Initiative.
Global climate finance hit a record high of $612bn (£476bn) in 2017, according to CPI advisers, but fell back 11% after that bumper year to $546bn in 2018.
Less public money for low-carbon transport and lower private-sector investment in renewable energy were the causes of the drop.
The study, entitled 'Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2019', found that investment at least more than three times as high as current levels would be needed annually until 2050 to clean up the world’s energy generation systems.
On top of that, adapting to the impacts of climate breakdown is likely to cost more than $180bn a year from 2020. However, only $30bn a year was spent in the last two years, an increase of about a third on 2015 and 2016 levels.
Barbara Buchner, executive director of climate finance, said, “Current investment is simply not enough, especially as investments in polluting industries continue to effectively cancel out these efforts to address climate change. Leaders should be focused on total economic transformation... our study is very clear – governments, development finance institutions and investors need to make a major shift in how they invest if they want to avoid climate change.”