In a study aimed at putting the nail in the coffin of the perception that a low-carbon economy would be costly, the study concluded that moving to renewable energy sources could significantly boost the global economy.
According to the results of a study that has been released on Wednesday, decisive action to combat climate change could cumulatively add at least $26 trillion to the world economy by 2030.
The study was aimed at dispelling fears that shifting from our fossil fuels to greener, renewable energy sources would undermine global growth.
The results of the study is in stark contrast to what U.S. President Donald Trump, stated in 2017 as the reason for pulling the country out of the landmark global climate pact – the Paris Agreement citing what he termed as “draconian financial and economic burdens”.
In contrast, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, stated there was “unprecedented momentum” toward sustainable growth and that this would boost employment and be an engine for economic prosperity. Bold actions on climate change can deliver at least $26 trillion in net cumulative benefits from now until 2030, it said.
“There’s still a perception that moving toward a low-carbon path would be costly,” said Helen Mountford, the lead author of the study. “What we are trying to do with this report is once and for all put the nails in the coffin on that idea.”
The commission’s study adds “detailed projections since it first issued a report in 2014 to highlight economic opportunities from a shift away from fossil fuels. Smarter investments in cleaner energy, cities, food and land use, water and industry could generate 65 million new jobs in 2030, equivalent to the workforces of Egypt and Britain combined”.
It goes on to read, “a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energies such as wind and solar power would avoid 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution in 2030”.
In contrast to expectations, the report states, U.S. jobs lost from moving over to greener renewable energy sources could be more than compensated by a rise in employment in renewables and construction. 476,000 people were now employed in the wind and solar power industry in the United States.
The study went on to note, “we are not making progress fast enough” to limit a rise in temperatures that have been linked to increased heat waves, rise in seawater levels and ravaging floods.