The U.S. Europe and Japan are locked in a frantic race to cash in on the exploding business of saving the planet, The International Herald Tribune reports.
Britain has emerged as the clear leader in carbon fund management, according to the article, with 72 percent of private carbon funds and 50 percent of all carbon funds being managed out of London. About $30.4 billion of allowances were traded last year, representing 1.6 billion tons of CO2, double the volume of 2005. New Energy Finance estimates that $33.8 billion carbon credits will be needed to meet targets under the Kyoto Accord and the European Emissions-Trading Scheme by 2012.
Silicon Valley is leading the way in attracting venture capital for green technologies. New Energy Finance, which tracks all investment flows in the clean energy market, said 1,250 capital and private equity funds were investing in companies involved in the market in 2006.
And Japan’s Toyota has sold more than a million Prius hybrid models – clearly leading the automotive sector.
What could hinder the green wave? A sustained fall in the world’s steep oil prices could make investment in alternatives to fossil fuels seem less attractive, according to IHT. And to sustain business’ new attraction to clean energy, governments must maintain, or even step up, efforts to cut carbon emissions.