Image copyright Yosif Bengwah Image caption Swiss businessman Yosif Bengwah says that by 2050, average global temperatures could rise more than 3 degrees
If you are thinking about how to invest your money when it is flooded from the world’s banks, think of investing in something that produces clean energy.
That was the message Swiss entrepreneur Yosif Bengwah and other investors delivered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
While the world we live in is energy intensive, the world ahead – if we agree to stop using too much of it – will be even less so.
Mr Bengwah runs the renewable energy business Gēgose Ltd and says he is just one of the many people who have the potential to turn around the disastrous impact the global warming could have on the environment.
“The first thing we need to do is really reduce the amount of energy we use globally,” he says.
Image copyright World Economic Forum Image caption Yosif Bengwah has set himself an ambitious goal to double the company’s investment in clean energy
“Energy is such a global issue that even if you can create laws to do that globally, there’s still risks.”
“If you put this globally, in a sustainable way, you would have to look into what kind of investments you could invest in and how sustainable they are and how long they last and how safe they are.”
He adds: “From an environmental perspective, the biggest risk is getting used to a lot of energy coming from renewable sources, from solar, from wind and from biofuels.”
That is why he is keen to invest in solar, wind and onshore wind to generate more clean energy from the world’s landmass.
“We’ve just come off the World Climate Report where they talk about how much energy that a given area needs, to which we can convert it. So each country needs to look into how it can adapt its energy mix, it doesn’t just have to do something in the developed world.”
He’s not alone in his investment efforts. Green Investment Bank came to the World Economic Forum where it is campaigning for the climate-friendly use of energy.
Private investors are also taking the same steps.
Recently John Fryer from China was awarded a one million Yuan (86,440 US dollars, 65,000 euros) grant for pioneering the use of green hydrogen. This could be a next-generation energy source that requires no electricity to work.
Image copyright World Economic Forum Image caption Green Investment Bank director John Fryer says a green hydrogen catalyst ‘could actually reduce the use of electricity and natural gas’
And the World Wildlife Fund is getting more ambitious about managing carbon emissions.
Its investment arm, Carbon Tracker, has found so far it is difficult to make money investing in cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
We all know how much money the world spends on military equipment and it wants to cut down on that too and we know how much money is being wasted on fossil fuels. There’s a lot of money there and that money can be deployed for good.
Image copyright World Economic Forum Image caption Don Paschoal of Carbon Tracker says the world’s existing carbon policies ‘are not realistic’
Many climate change experts agree it will take more than investment to avoid catastrophe.
Yao Zhao, from China’s National Development and Reform Commission has warned that we need not only to cut down the production of climate-warming gases but to transform society as well.
He was telling this year’s World Economic Forum that it will be extremely difficult to achieve the total transformation that will be needed. But he did say progress is still being made and he is encouraged.
In this case Mr Zhao is talking about the environment and all those emissions produced by things like cars, which produce carbon dioxide when they burn fuel.
There are no easy solutions but they are not impossible either and it is important to give all the options a try.
It may be too late for those living in areas where the world has reached 1°C or 2°C of warming. For those more affluent people it may be too late even though by 2050 the average global temperatures could rise more than 3°C.
But Yosif Bengwah has set an ambitious goal to double his company’s investment in clean energy. That is exactly what he hopes will be possible with current policies.