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Expand chart
Data: BloombergNEF; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

New data shows that combined global investment in renewable energy companies and projects just had its best first half of any year.

Driving the news: The first six months of 2021 saw the investment of $174 billion amid record amounts of public market financing, venture capital and private equity, per the research firm BloombergNEF.

  • "A decline in investment in new renewables projects was offset by a jump in equity offerings of renewable energy companies," the analysts note.

The big picture: More aggressive deployment of mature clean sources and investment in emerging tech is needed to start forcing carbon emissions downward.

  • The BloombergNEF report puts fresh data behind an important trend: A lot of money is flowing into clean energy, but the activity lags behind what's needed to reach global climate goals.
  • "Renewable energy investment has withstood the effects of the global pandemic, in contrast to other sectors of the energy economy where we have seen unprecedented volatility," BloombergNEF head of analysis Albert Cheung said in a statement alongside the data.
  • But Cheung added: "However, a 1.8% year-on-year increase is nothing to write home about. An immediate acceleration in funding is needed if we are to get on track for global net zero.”

By the numbers: Companies raised over $28 billion in public markets and nearly $6 billion in VC and private equity commitments in the first half of this year.

  • Investment in solar power projects was almost $79 billion, up 9% compared to the same period last year, but wind project finance was around $27 billion lower.

Go deeper

First look: Real estate firms invest $140 million in climate tech

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Large real estate companies are putting $140 million into a climate tech fund that aims to help decarbonize the sector, according to an announcement Monday morning from the venture firm Fifth Wall.

Why it matters: The funding round, which includes some of the largest players in the industry, signals growing momentum toward backing new technologies needed to slash carbon emissions to net-zero by midcentury and achieve negative emissions thereafter.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment

More warning signs ahead of COP26

Expand chart
Data: OECD; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Two new reports show the gap between multilateral climate goals and what's actually happening.

Driving the news: OECD data shows developed economies are falling short of a 2009 pledge to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing nations cut emissions and adapt to warming.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
7 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China vows end to building coal-fired power plants abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Mary Altaffer - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that his country "will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad" and plans to boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Why it matters: The pledge, if maintained, would mark a breakthrough in efforts to transition global power away from the most carbon-emitting fuel.