The United Nations believes sustainable energy targets that have been outlined for 2030 and 2050 can be achieved, but the plan will require fairly hefty financial contributions from countries and businesses. The organization says current funding levels must triple by the end of the decade, which would mean an annual figure of about $5 trillion, globally. According to the U.N. this increase in funding can be made possible through the “scaling up the use of blended finance mechanisms and multilateral portfolio guarantees.” The organization also called for a decrease in regulations in an effort to attract more private investment, among other proposals.
Reports cited in the United Nations’ statement suggest many of the technologies needed to reach sustainable energy targets already exist. The bulk of the increased funding would then likely be directed at scaling up the production and proliferation of these technologies instead of on research and development.
Although the figure quoted is large, the U.N. also believe a large payoff will be the result of the investment increase. The body says that if funding targets are met, everyone on Earth will have access to “clean, affordable energy” within a decade. Smaller figures are being thrown around, which could still have a huge impact. The report states that an investment of $35 billion could give 750 million people access to electricity, while $25 billion a year would make “clean cooking” an option for 2.6 billion people between now and 2030. According to the Clean Cooking Alliance, three billion people currently don’t have the option of cooking on clean stoves with non-toxic fuels. This lack of access has an impact on both public health and the environment as a whole.