Climate Solutions Made the U.S. At Least $2 Billion Richer In 2013

blog-climate policies save billions-1.13.15We’ve talked often here about the economic benefits of climate solutions, from lower electricity prices to reduced health costs. A recent analysis by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offers further evidence of those benefits – cutting greenhouse gas emissions alone saved the U.S. $2.2 billion dollars in 2013. When the value of cutting other fossil-fuel-related pollutants such as sulfur dioxide was factored in, the total savings rose to $5.2 billion.
 
As Climate Home reports here, many of these savings were a result of the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that requires states to get a portion of their electricity from clean-energy sources. These requirements vary from state to state, and currently only 29 states have such policies. Imagine the cost savings and benefits if all 50 states had RPS requirements.
 
RPS compliance also supported some 200,000 clean energy jobs and cut water consumption by 27 billion gallons – an important consideration in a time when severe drought is increasingly common.
 
Though climate change acceptance is on the rise in the U.S., denial is still an issue. Helping Americans understand the business value of clean energy can help bypass those roadblocks and keep us moving towards solutions.
 

U.S. Climate Policies Boosted Economy $2.2 Billion in 2013

By Tim Radford, contributor to Climate Home
 
It’s not just the planet that benefits from reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that intensify global warming, says new study
 
Going green by switching to renewable sources of electricity could be good business for the US, according to new research.
 
A report by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California says that cutting greenhouse gas emissions meant that the US as a whole was $2.2 billion better off in 2013.
 
And as a result of reductions in other forms of air pollution associated with burning coal, diesel and oil, in accordance with legislation known as state renewable portfolio standards (RPS), the US was perhaps $5.2 billion the richer.
 
The RPS are state impositions on utility companies, requiring them to generate a proportion of their electricity from sources that do not burn fossil fuels and thus stoke global warming by emitting the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.
 
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Image credit: Flickr/Oregon Department of Transport

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