Using figures from international agencies and business databases, the group found a total of $497 billion was invested in 2015. That's a seven per cent increase from the previous year despite competition from low-priced fossil fuels. The largest chunk of that money — $226 billion — was spent in developing countries, the study found. About $218 billion went toward solar energy and about $150 billion was spent on wind power, the two largest types of investment. The list of countries and regions that increased spending on renewable energy is long. U.S. spending was up seven per cent. In the U.K. and India, it went up 23 per cent. China spent 17 per cent more on renewables and Mexico increased its investments by 114 per cent. Meanwhile, spending in Canada actually declined by about half, even though the country remains ranked eighth in the world in terms of absolute dollars. The reason, said Smith, is the lack of new government targets and regulations for the use of renewable energy. "(Clean energy) doesn't need subsidies, it needs policies that commit to targets," Smith said. Most of the investment that resulted from Ontario's decision to purchase more renewable energy has already happened, she said. Provinces such as British Columbia haven't made such promises yet and those that have, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, have yet to come up with the details.
"(Clean energy) doesn't need subsidies, it needs policies that commit to targets."
Climate meeting in Vancouver could help
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