Switching to 100% renewables by 2050 would save major economies $500 billion and save the lives of 1.3 million people.
The study looked at how fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions were linked to the economy, health and job market of the US, the EU and China, and then assessed how their current climate change commitments would benefit those areas.
According to the study:
if the US, the European Union and China started taking the steps towards using 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, they’d save a combined US$500 billion per year.
On top of that, moving in that direction would save the lives of around 1.3 million people who are killed prematurely by air pollution, and also create 3 million new jobs by 2030. And if that’s not enough reason, the study also predicted that if all countries started moving towards the 100 percent renewable target, global warming would not cross the 2 degrees Celsius threshold that many scientists believes is the ‘point of no return’ for climate change. (Emphasis added)
Here are the savings:
Notice most of the lives saved and the jobs would be in China, which has a major stake in global warming. The following image derived from the Firetree flood maps, shows eastern China with 9 metres of sea level rise:
That whole Shanghai and Jiangsu basin goes squishy with only one metre rise. At 2 or 3 metres the area would become unlivable. From about 5 metres the sea would start to penetrate deep into Anhui Province.
The linked article contains information about other developments in renewable energy.
Costa Rica powered the whole country with renewable energy for 75 days straight.
If California covered its houses, buildings and urban spaces with small-scale solar installations, it would generate enough electricity to power the state three to five times over.
Meanwhile, fossil fuels are way more expensive than the immediate dollar costs would indicate. As noted in this article:
Experts in these fields who have published research on the subject have found that fossil fuels are incredibly expensive, when we account for all of their costs. For example, one recent study conservatively estimated that including pollution costs, coal is about 4 times more expensive than wind and 3 times more expensive than solar energy in the USA today.
I’m confident the Greens appreciate the true situation, not sure that Labor really get it. Meanwhile as posted recently in Climate clippings, the Abbott government has its head completely buried in the sand:
One thought on “100% renewable energy saves masses of money and lives”
Brian: I am a bit cautious re things like table 3: For example, cost savings from reduced fossil fuel imports = reduced income for the countries, like Aus, that export fossil carbon. I would assume too that the particulate problem is related to coal and diesel or am I missing something?
To me the big short term economic benefit of a war on GHG is that it will give a much needed boost to a faltering world economy.
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