Each year, Climatescope takes stock of clean energy activities across the world’s developing nations. This year, the survey has been expanded to cover 71 nations. Among them, this group accounts for 32.5% of global GDP and 72.4% of global population.

Collectively, developing nations represent both the greatest challenge and greatest hope in addressing global warming. On the one hand, these countries will account for virtually all future CO2 emissions growth thanks to their rapidly expanding economies. They also stand to suffer disproportionately from major weather events and temperature rises as they often lack infrastructure and resources to adapt. On the other hand, they offer some of the best opportunities for clean energy development. Many are home to outstanding natural resources, high prices for incumbent energy, and millions of citizens justifiably seeking improved energy access.

Since first being published in 2012, Climatescope has generally chronicled how hope and clean energy opportunities are triumphing over pessimism and challenges in developing countries. Trends decidedly in renewables’ favor have included: low interest rates in OECD countries and wide capital flows; rapidly falling clean energy equipment costs and the associated improving economics; and the strengthening of national and local policy frameworks.

Climatescope 2017, however, includes some troubling results highlighting serious obstacles to clean energy scale-up in developing nations. These come just two years after the historic agreement in Paris where no less than 200 nations pledged to address climate change, and eight years after Copenhagen where the world’s wealthiest nations promised to deliver $100 billion per year by 2020 to assist poorer countries address climate change.

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