Delivering a sustainable future

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The FT has reported this morning that:

Wind, solar and other types of renewable power will overtake coal to become the world’s top source of electricity in just 15 years if the pledges countries are making for a global climate change deal this year are met.

The striking finding by the International Energy Agency shows renewable power could soar from just over a fifth of global electricity generation today to nearly a third by 2030 — a bigger share than either coal, gas or nuclear plants.

I think I would add an important caveat, which is that this is subject to funding being available. Which is where Green Infrastructure Quantitative Easing comes into play.
There is a second condition. The IEA knows this one, and has said:

We have to have a peaceful divorce between economic growth and emissions for the wellbeing of all the world’s citizens

That's a really powerful argument. The essence is straightforward though and is that the time has come when growth should not be based on making and consuming more but on doing more to provide and care for each other. That's an idea deeply embedded in part of my book The Courageous State where I address the physical constraints to growth and how making less would make us so much better off. Available here.

There is a follow on from that though, which is that maybe, just maybe, the reason why business is no longer investing much is that they are beginning to realise people do not need so much stuff, and have other needs that are better met by the state. Which is, of course, another reason why we may need to run deficits until we catch up and work out how to pay for this change in society.