The latest figures on renewable energy trends from the UN Environment Programme (Unep) reveal a striking turnaround after a period in which low oil prices and policy uncertainty pushed investment down, threatening the sector. Even though oil prices remain low, world investment, largely in solar and wind, went up by 17% to $270bn (£180bn) last year, reversing a two-year dip. The new generating capacity that represents is about the same as the total output of the current US nuclear system. “There’s a quiet revolution going on,” says Nick Robins, co-director of the Unep Inquiry into a Sustainable Financial System (pdf), “with central banks and financial regulators starting to incorporate sustainability into their core activities”. For example, “In China, there’s growing momentum for building a ‘green financial system’ to tackle the country’s serious environmental problems,” he says
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