Big funds are pulling large sums out of fossil fuel investments, although the momentum towards their green alternatives is gathering only slowly

At the UN Climate Conference held in New York in September, a new narrative emerged on the economic case for taking action on climate: no longer is climate about cost. Now corporations and governments are focused on – and understand – the feasibility of low-carbon solutions. Yet on the government side the only significant news came from the French, who committed $1bn to the newly formed Green Climate Fund (GCF).

First proposed at negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009, the GCF is supposed to help deliver part of the $100bn a year in climate finance promised to developing countries. Get the GCF adequately funded – something expected to happen in November, together with new 2030 energy goals from the EU – and the next international climate negotiations in Lima in December stand a good chance of forging an ambitious draft text. Then, with adequate time and trust rebuilt into the process, it's conceivable a global deal to place caps on emissions could be reached in Paris at the end of 2015.

In the absence of stronger government action, it fell to institutional investors to step up with billion-dollar pledges. Most prominent among them was an announcement by two insurance industry associations –...

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clean energy  climate change  divestment  fossil fuels  Fracking  renewable energy  solar power  wind energy 

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