Stopping Global Warming Will Cost $50 Trillion: Morgan Stanley Report

Oct 25, 2019 3:55 PM ET

Topline: While estimates vary on the cost of halting global warming and reducing net carbon emissions to zero, a new report from Morgan Stanley analysts finds that to do so by 2050 the world will need to spend $50 trillion in five key areas of zero-carbon technology.

  • Renewables will require $14 trillion of investment, and could deliver around 80% of global power by 2050—up from 37% today. As solar energy becomes more affordable, it will become the fastest-growing renewable technology.
  • Electric vehicles will become more important than ever in the bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles; $11 trillion will be needed to build more factories and develop the batteries and infrastructure needed for a widespread switch to electric vehicles—the total number of which could grow to nearly 950 million by 2050.
  • Carbon capture and storage, which Morgan Stanley says is the only viable option for reducing emissions from coal-fired plants, is another key area and would need almost $2.5 trillion of investment.
  • Hydrogen can help provide clean fuel for power, cars and other industries—it will require almost $20 trillion of cumulative investments to help make the gas, increase capacity to power plants and manage its storage.
  • Biofuels, like ethanol, will be key for future global transportation and eventually spread to aircraft and other forms of other travel—requiring $2.7 trillion by 2050.

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