COP15: 4 snippets

There is a real excitement in the air, with some 20 thousand people turning up from every corner of the world and a party atmosphere in the streets. The talk, however, is all climate:

1. Lord Stern in a speech a couple of nights ago talked of the stark choice we face between acting fast or sliding into disaster, and thus how important this Conference was to the future of the planet. Lord Giddens talked of the Copenhagen Conference being, with the sense of pressure for a global agreement and over 100 heads of States turning up, the first real gathering for global governance: an historic event.

2. More practically, Q-Cells, one of the world's largest photovoltaic solar companies, claims that solar cells have reached grid price parity in key markets, such as Italy and Germany. That means that solar cells are price comparable with fossil fuel energy (gas in Italy's case) coal and gas for Germany. Big news! Why would you still build coal in those markets, let alone high-emission-potency gas?

3. According to the International Energy Authority, 77% of the energy infrastructure that will exist in the world 2050 has not been built. So we have an extraordinary chance to make sure it's infrastructure for a low-carbon, not a high-carbon, economy.

4. Denmark's ATP pension fund, one of the largest in the world, announced that they're setting up a € 1 billion 'Institutional Investor Climate Change Action Fund for Emerging Economies'. The aim is for the Fund to become a joint initiative involving several like-minded institutional investors.  The Fund will operate on private sector conditions and only invest in projects that are expected to deliver relevant risk-adjusted rewards.