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  • Hot money: Illuminating the financing of high-carbon infrastructure in the developing world. iScience Ball, J., Pastor, A. O., Liou, D., Dickey, E. 2021; 24 (11): 103358


    Major infrastructure financiers will have to significantly decarbonize their investments to meet mounting promises to cut carbon emissions to "net-zero" by mid-century. We provide new details about those needed shifts. Using two World Bank databases of infrastructure projects throughout the developing world, and applying a methodology for imputing the projects' likely future carbon output, we assess the emissions profile of power-plant projects executed from 2018 through 2020 - the three years immediately preceding the spate of net-zero pledges. We find that approximately half the generation executed in those years is too carbon-intensive to align with keeping Earth's average temperature from exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, largely because of the prevalence of new natural-gas-fired power plants. We also find new evidence of host countries' agency in shaping carbon trajectories: Much of the climate-misaligned financing is not foreign but domestic. And we find different institutions are financing infrastructure portfolios with significantly differing carbon intensities.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103358

    View details for PubMedID 34841224