Corporate clean energy buying leapt 44% in 2019, sets new record

by BloombergNEF


Corporations bought a record amount of clean energy through power purchase agreements, or PPAs, in 2019, up more than 40% from the previous year’s record. The majority of this purchasing occurred in the United States.

  • BloombergNEF’s 2020 Corporate Energy Market Outlook found that approximately 19.5GW of clean energy contracts were signed by more than 100 corporations in 23 different countries in 2019. This was up from 13.6GW in 2018, and more than triple the activity seen in 2017.
  • Corporations have purchased over 50GW of clean energy since 2008. That is bigger than the power generation fleets of markets like Vietnam and Poland.
  • It was a record year for corporate PPAs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, where companies purchased 2.6GW and 2GW of clean energy.
  • BNEF estimates these 221 RE100 companies will need to purchase an additional 210TWh of clean electricity in 2030 to meet their targets.

The Climate Center’s Business for Clean Energy program offers networking and inspiration. Member businesses share the opportunities, challenges, and best practices for decarbonizing their businesses.

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‘Green Swan’ climate event could trigger global financial crisis, BIS warns

by Jana Randow, Bloomberg Green, January 20, 2020


  • Climate change threatens to provoke “green swan” events that could trigger a systemic financial crisis unless authorities act against such risks, according to the Bank for International Settlements
  • Many central banks already contribute to the effort by monitoring climate-related risks through stress tests, incorporating environmental, social and governance criteria in pension funds, or working with banks on disclosing carbon-intensive exposure to assess potential financial-stability risks
  • The analysis by officials at the Basel-based institution–often described as the central bank for central banks– adapts the “black swan” concept devised by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to describe adverse events outside the scope of regular expectations with wide-ranging or extreme impacts

The bank’s warning drives home the need for rapid decarbonization to avoid destabilizing the planet’s climate, as well as our global economic system.

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Investment funds with high sustainability ratings outperform S&P 500: Barron’s

by Jennifer Nastu, Environmental Leader, January 20, 2020


  • A report published last summer from Ethical Markets showed an upward trend in private “green” investments worldwide and claimed these investments equal a cumulative $10.387 trillion as of 2019
  • 68 out of the 153 active ESG managed US stocks didn’t make Barron’s list of the most sustainable funds
  • The number of investors that are interested in sustainable investing has gone up by 10%
  • Funds with “above average” or “high” sustainability ratings outperformed comparable funds with lower ratings in sustainability, according to Barron’s fourth annual ranking of ESG investing
  • Of the 189 funds that met the ESG criteria in 2019, 41% outperformed the S&P 500 index for the year. That’s compared to just 29% of big-cap equity funds overall that beat the index

The Climate Center has a network of sustainable businesses called the Business of Clean Energy program. Members include clean energy providers, sustainable food companies, and banks that have a “do no harm” policy for investments, and thus, do not invest in fossil fuel infrastructure. In addition, some members loan money for clean energy investments.

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How to make carbon pricing palatable to air travelers

University of British Columbia & EDF; read full article at ScienceDaily

  • Travelers are willing to pay a little more for flights if they know the extra money will be used to address carbon emissions, per new study 

How those fees are presented at the time of ticket purchase is the key to consumer acceptance. People respond better when the fee is labeled as a carbon offset rather than a tax. And they respond better if they know the producers and importers of airplane fuel have been billed for it — not just themselves.

“People have the perception that the oil companies are the ones responsible for climate change, or at least more responsible than they are,” says study co-author David Hardisty, an assistant professor of marketing and behavioural science at UBC Sauder School of Business. “Consumers are more supportive of carbon pricing if it’s directed at the fossil fuel producers and importers than if it’s directed at consumers.”….

David J. Hardisty, Alec T. Beall, Ruben Lubowski, Annie Petsonk, Rainer Romero-Canyas. A carbon price by another name may seem sweeter: Consumers prefer upstream offsets to downstream taxesJournal of Environmental Psychology, 2019; 66: 101342 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.101342