New Report: Clean Energy Can Save the U.S. Billions of Dollars and Save Thousands of Lives
The argument that climate solutions offer economic benefits just got even stronger. Researchers at Duke University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies examined what would happen if the U.S. implemented the commitments it made at the Paris climate conference last year. They found that the climate actions necessary to reach the Paris goal would save the U.S. billions of dollars and prevent as many as 300,000 premature deaths by 2030.
The study focused only on the lives that could be saved, but climate action has many other health benefits as well. As this Climate News Network article points out, clean energy and transport policies would substantially reduce the health costs associated with asthma and other climate-related illnesses. In addition, climate action could increase worker productivity by preventing up to 15 million lost workdays a year.
Then there are the broader advantages of climate action – helping to reduce the risks of rising seas, severe droughts, and extreme weather such as hurricanes and floods. But for us to realize the full benefits, we need policies that are much stronger than those currently in place. That’s why leaders in all sectors must raise their voices, and demand that the U.S. honor their Paris commitment.
By Tim Radford, a founding editor of Climate News Network
Simply implementing its Paris climate conference commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions could save the US billions of dollars – and save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Scientists have worked out how the US could save as many as 300,000 lives by 2030, and get a tenfold return on its investments at the same time.
It’s simple. All the nation has to do is what it promised to do at the Paris climate conference last December − launch clean energy and transport policies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds or more, and pursue the international goal of keeping global warming to below 2°C.
Drew Shindell, professor of climate sciences at Duke University, North Carolina, and colleagues report in Nature Climate Change that the climate policies agreed by 195 nations at the latest UN summit on climate change deliver a winning scenario for the most powerful nation on Earth.
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