Global spending on the clean-energy transition hit record highs as the world moves to rein in climate change, but it’s still not enough to get on track to net-zero emissions. Total spending surged 17% last year to $1.8 trillion, according to a report Tuesday from BloombergNEF. These include investments to install renewable energy, buy electric vehicles, build hydrogen production systems, and deploy other technologies. Add in the investments in building out clean-energy supply chains, as well as $900 billion in financing, and the total funding in 2023 reached about $2.8 trillion.
- Date Posted:
- January 29, 2024
The international system is facing three sharp regional challenges. China is rapidly amassing military might as part of its campaign to eject the United States from the western Pacific. Russia’s war in Ukraine is the centerpiece of its long-standing effort to reclaim primacy in eastern Europe and the former Soviet space. In the Middle East, Iran and its coterie of proxies are waging a bloody struggle for regional dominance against Israel, the Gulf monarchies, and the United States. The fundamental commonalities linking the revisionist states are autocratic governance and geopolitical grievance; in this case, a desire to break a U.S.-led order that deprives them of the greatness they desire. Although dramatically ramping up military spending to drive down global risk is strategically essential, it seems politically inexpedient, at least until the United States suffers a more jarring geopolitical shock. In any case, it would take time—time Washington and its friends might not have—for even sizable increases in defense outlays to have a tangible military effect.