Chile, India, and Jordan set the green standard

Solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal vents – all three are technologies that were once solely the province of wealthy nations. Now they have been swiftly adopted in developing countries as costs have plummeted. In fact, global emerging economies added more clean power capacity than fossil fuel generation for the first time in 2017, according to a new annual survey conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

As the expansion of clean energy technologies becomes more feasible, it is also becoming more urgent. A report released by the United Nations last year stated that countries need to significantly change their energy creation and consumption habits in order to stave off the worst outcomes of climate change, including rising sea levels and more extreme weather patterns. Studies also show that climate change will more severely impact developing countries because of their locations and lack of adaptability.

But market analysts like Mr. Traum are quick to point out that clean energy is more than an environmental good. By investing in renewables, a country invests in its future, he says. Renewables can also create jobs or establish energy sovereignty. These economic and political benefits are partly why they are increasingly cost-effective and available.

“This year, for the first time, installation of renewables topped fossil fuels in the emerging world. It’s major for all things climate change because … seeing installations of fossil fuels decline is a good sign about the last carbon that we’re going to have to be dealing with down the line.” [Source]