Clean power sources (including nuclear and hydro) generated more electricity than coal worldwide for the first time ever last year, but also burned more coal than ever before as global electricity demand boomed. Global power demand rose by the equivalent of India, according to a report from energy think tank Ember. The wind and solar sectors will need to maintain their combined 20% rate of growth, in order to hold global warming could to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels — the target established in the Paris agreement — the report says. Doing so will require “radical action,”said Francesco La Carema, head of the International Renewable Energy Agency in conjunction with a report released by that agency.
Meanwhile, U.S. and Canadian banks increased lending to fossil fuels by a combined 22.7% last year, with six North American institutions providing nearly half of the $742 billion provided to the fossil fuel industry globally. At least nine of the largest U.S. and Canadian banks, including the six largest investment banks in the U.S., face shareholder votes on climate action in 2022. (Ember: Protocol, Bloomberg $, BBC, FT $; IRENA report: AP, The Hill; Fossil Fuel Lending: S&P Global, Reuters, FT $; Shareholder pressure: E&E $, S&P Global)