‘$600bn will tackle climate change’

A total of $600bn a year will need to be invested by the private sector into research and development to tackle climate change, a new research project has concluded.

The first results of the London Accord project, sponsored by the City of London Corporation, BP, Forum for the Future, Gresham College and Z/Yen Group, were announced on Monday.

The team behind the project said climate change can be solved with the right level of investment, and their research aims to show investors where and how they could best spend their money.

David Lewis, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said: “Climate change represents an unparalleled threat to our life on the planet and through the London Accord, the City’s best brains have cooperated in an unprecedented way to tackle the challenge.

“The London Accord is the first open-source, co-operative investment analysis into opportunities and challenges in the energy supply and climate change market – which needs to be $600bn a year invested from the private sector over the next 25 years.

“Climate change can be tackled if the investment is there – and the London Accord is the first comprehensive map for the investment community.”

Investment opportunities in technologies such as solar and geothermal energy, biofuels, and carbon-reducing building and transport schemes were all examined as part of the research.

Project director Jan Peter Onstwedder said: “A key point was to test if something was more than an idea – if it is also scalable and investable.

“In clean coal technology, for example, the teams looked at costs of capturing the CO2, costs of the high temperature ovens, the risks from electricity price rises etc and then set these factors against a range of scenarios.”

Reuters, the London School of Economics and the Santa Fe Institute are also behind the initiative, and a number of key institutions based in London have also contributed to the research, including ABN Amro, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase.

Kate Martin

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