Further $5.2 trillion in renewable energy investment required for net zero: EY

EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) report has estimated that a further US$5.2 trillion is needed for the renewable energy development required to achieve net zero emissions worldwide.

The accounting giant’s 57th RECAI report showed that global renewable energy capacity investments grew 2% to $303.5 billion in a COVID-hit 2020, but warned that momentum may slow as companies face financial hurdles in their quest to meet net zero targets.

It also found that ESG goals are increasingly being prioritised on the investor agenda while institutional investors’ interest in renewables continues to grow.

The latest RECAI report arrives in the lead up to 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which is to be held in Glasgow. The November event will provide a collaborative platform to drive conversations around national and business net zero commitments, EY said.

RECAI found that current policy and pledge trajectories from leading nations indicate an increased commitment to greater accountability and transparency, with representatives expected to outline clear roadmaps and detail on policy measures to spur investment in renewables.

The index itself placed the US at the top of pile, following its reacceptance of the Paris Agreement and new targets to cut emissions significantly by 2030. East Asia also emerged as a high potential investment destination for renewables on the index, along with other climbers such as Brazil, Greece, Poland and Turkey.