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Switching to 100% Renewables by 2050 Would Save Major Economies $500 Billion

FIONA MACDONALD
7 APR 2015

A new study has finally put a dollar value on a renewable energy future. According to a new report commissioned by the Climate Action Network, 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.

The study looked at how fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions were linked to the economy, health and job market of the three major economies, and then assessed how their current climate change commitments would benefit those areas.

Currently, the European Union aims to get at least 40 percent of its emissions below 1990 levels by 2030. The US is committed to getting its emission down to 28 percent below 2005 levels, and China has promised to obtain 30 percent of its power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. If the countries manage to stick to these goals, they’ll collectively prevent around 113,000 air-pollution deaths, save at least US$ 33 billion and create 1 million jobs - which is pretty impressive.

But the report took things one step further, and investigated what would happen if all countries instead aimed to be powered by 100 percent renewables by 2050, and, as you can see below, the savings are pretty impressive.

Savings

Although progress has been slow, the goal definitely isn’t impossible. At the start of this year, Costa Rica managed to power the entire country with 100 percent renewable energy for 75 days straight. And China is already ramping up its wind energy farms, with the country now producing more wind energy than the US does nuclear energy.

Over in the states, a city in Texas is about to switch over to 100 percent renewable energy, and a new study showed that small urban solar installations would be capable of powering the state of California five times over. Meanwhile, Germany proved in 2014 that it had the capability to provide for half the country's energy needs using solar power. Hell, we've even got wind turbines on the Eiffel tower now

It’s becoming increasingly clear that we now have the technology needed to stop depending on fossil fuels, we just need to encourage politicians and businesses it's the right thing to do. And hopefully reports like this one will help. After all, the future is already here.

Source: Climate Action Network