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Measuring Green Investments Worldwide
By Christie Renner

The media is abuzz about the evolving green economy. The United States has had record growth in solar over the past few years, though still lags behind China, Japan, and Germany.[1] Denmark, Germany, and Spain are now producing more than 10% of their electricity from wind.[2] And energy efficient buildings are providing cost saving to governments, businesses, and home owners around the world.

But who’s counting, really?

The new Global Climate Prosperity Scoreboard® is counting, and reports $1.2 trillion in green investments by private companies since 2007. This number includes investments worldwide in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green construction, corporate R&D, and more. Controversial categories such as nuclear, carbon capture and sequestration (still in its infancy), and biofuels are not included in the total.

The Scoreboard is an initiative of Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil) and the Climate Prosperity Alliance. The Climate Prosperity Alliance is a volunteer, global network of businesses, investors, scientists, and organizations dedicated to the development of clean technology. Hazel Henderson, Ethical Markets Founder and President, is a long-time friend of First Affirmative and a former speaker at the SRI in the Rockies Conference that First Affirmative produces.

Much of this green investment translates into green jobs and economic growth. The American Solar Energy Society reports that in the U.S. alone as many as 37 million jobs may be created in renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors by 2030.

While government policy can facilitate the transition from a carbon-based economy to a cleaner, greener economy, the role of private businesses is paramount. Businesses are positioned to take green technology to the global marketplace, and as green investments increase, the Scoreboard plans to track this growth.

[1] Earth Policy Institute Data Center; Climate, Energy, and Transportation; “Plan B 4.0 Solar Energy Data.”

[2] Worldwarch Institute Vital Signs, “Wind Power Increase in 2008 Exceeds 10-year Average,” May 7, 2009, as reported here. To see a map with wind production by country, visit the Global Wind Energy Council.

Posted: December 16, 2009