Overnight, while most of us were sleeping (and some of us were trying to soothe a teething baby) two new reports were released. One fills me with hope and the other with dismay.

The first, a new report "Better Growth, Better Climate" was released in New York.

Penned by some of the biggest names in finance and economics, such as Sir Nicholas Stern and backed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, it shows (like our Future is Here report did here in NZ) that job creation, economic well-being and climate action can go hand in hand. And needless to say it is very solid stuff.

The second is from those powerhouse number crunchers at Ernst and Young. They released the tongue twisting "Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index" report which shows that NZ has dropped out of the top 40 places to invest in clean energy. Ukraine (where they had the world's worst nuclear disaster), Greece (a country that's on it's knees economically) and Russia (which is currently holding parts of Europe to ransom over its supplies of gas) are all better places to invest than NZ.

This is a pretty damning indictment on a country known the world over for being clean and green and currently powering the nation with massive amounts of clean energy. When our Minister for Business Steven Joyce talks of sad examples of clean tech investments, it’s hardly surprising. 

But anyway, back to the good news.

Up until now, the public debate and lines being run by governments and big business, especially oil companies, has been that tackling climate change would be too expensive. That clean energy is too expensive and using it would “clobber” the economy. We hear it all the time from our own politicians like Bill English who claims that climate action is a "luxury we can’t afford".

It has, until now, been an assumption that has found a home in the story of those who have the greatest to lose from climate action: the fossil fuel industry and the governments that support them.

But this new report has a different story to tell, declaring that the solutions to climate change could wind up being effectively free. And given the rapid technological innovation and new investments in infrastructure being made, it is possible to make these changes now.

The report says the world is set to spend US$89 trillion over the next 15 years upgrading the infrastructure that holds our global economy together. It says it would cost just US$270 billion more each year- an extra five per cent - to do this in a cleaner, smarter way.

Once the economic benefits of having cleaner air, more energy efficient buildings and reduced fossil fuel dependency are taken into account, these upgrades are effectively free, it says. And that's before the economic benefit of avoiding climate change is factored in.

With the dramatic changes and speed with which the price of solar and wind power are falling; by ending the US$600 billion annual taxpayer handouts to to the most polluting companies on the planet and with over half of new electricity generation over the next 15 years likely to be from clean energy, we can slash our climate wrecking emissions to almost zero.

Everyone’s a winner, except the fossil fuel industry.

Now, many will think this is just another report and we need action, not words. And you’d be right. But the changes we need to safeguard our children’s future are already starting to happen: the solutions are out there. The old power structures that were holding us back are starting to crumble as a new story starts to emerge. One where real money is being invested in real technologies which will enable us to power our homes and businesses in a cleaner and smarter way. And the momentum is now unstoppable.

Those who have the greatest to lose from this shift, the big polluting corporates and oil companies will go down fighting, but their grip is being weakened. And this gives me hope.