The CDP report also states that cities are investing billions in renewable energy projects. Sounds expensive until you remember that, in the long run, such schemes save these cities and countries trillions of dollars, something even fiscal conservatives far from Congress are happy to embrace.
Although the coal industry is certainly petering out, it’s too early to say that the fuel source is dead on arrival. It’s still incredibly cheap, and its use in China largely tracks with the economy. India, soon to be the most populous nation in the world, also relies heavily on coal.
Still, China, the world’s most prolific greenhouse gas emitter, is enjoying a solar-powered boom lately, along with Europe and the US. Signs are also pointing toward communities in the developing world, particularly in several African nations, leapfrogging over coal and choosing solar power too.
Although the affordability of natural gas is a little problematic if you want to get to 100 percent renewables as a city in any part of the world, Vox recently concluded that “cities are endorsing a future in which coal and natural gas are obsolete.”
“There’s no one size fits all approach to transitioning to renewable electricity, with our data showing an increasing mix of technologies including solar and wind power,” Kyra Appleby, the Director of Cities at CDP, told IFLScience.
“But, with the cost of renewable energy at an all-time low, and set to be more cost effective than fossil fuels globally by 2020, one thing is clear – cost is no longer an obstacle.”