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Renewable Energy Calls for Action
By Ahnika LeRoy, Contributor

The future of green energy and economic prosperity rests in the hands of everyone—from small business owners to policy makers around the world. Together we can make a positive impact and promote renewable energy generation.

Renewable Energy Calls for Action - Petroleum Extraction by housesAccording to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to avoid catastrophic climate change we need to stay within 2 degrees centigrade of average warming around the world. Passing this limit will create an increasingly volatile environment that will affect communities and economies on both a global and local scale.

Companies are becoming more aware of the negative consequence of climate change and are beginning to take responsibility for their actions; however, there is still an urge for substantially more government support.

There have been several global summits on the issue; including, most famously, the Kyoto conference which culminated in the Kyoto Protocol. Later this year, The Paris Summit will be added to the list. The conference seeks to promote a green economy, showcase solutions to climate change, and draft a declaration pledging support for another international climate deal.

Countries are beginning to take the steps necessary to create independence from fossil fuels. In India, the government acknowledges that investing in a better environment is in their best interests. China and the United States facilitated a joint announcement in 2014 on policies that favor investment in green energy and acknowledge climate change as a significant threat.

Even though developed and developing countries alike are putting forth effort to elevate the stress put on corporations damaging the environment by fossil fuels and pollution, there are still significant inefficiencies being fed that will be addressed at the Paris Summit later this year.

As of July 2014, Oil Change International estimates U.S. fossil fuel subsidies are $37.5 billion annually, including $21 billion in production and exploration subsidies. Those estimates do not include the negative externalities imposed on people and the environment. Developed countries collectively squandered $600 billion annually in subsidies according to Global Subsidies Initiative.

Instead of providing more wealth to harmful fossil fuel companies, this money would be better allocated to investing in renewable sources of energy and supporting innovation. The Paris summit is set to address this issue.

Renewable Energy Calls for Action - solar power farmThere is a bright future for green energy. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate released a report in 2014 that predicts over the next 15 years, about $90 trillion is likely to be invested in infrastructure in the world’s cities, agriculture, and energy systems. The report also states that renewable energy sources could account for more than half of electricity generation and investment in the energy sector should triple to well over $100 billion annually in 2020.

Investment in renewable sources of energy is essential to control carbon emissions and benefit the environment. It is our sincerest hope that the Paris summit can further these goals.

At First Affirmative, we understand that the ways we save, spend, and invest can dramatically influence both the fabric and consciousness of society. We believe that in addition to the benefits of ownership, investors bear responsibility for the impact our money has in the world. Are you making conscious decisions about the impact of your consumer purchase and investment decisions?

Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered an endorsement or a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Posted: March 30, 2015