Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Bank:  Fighting Climate Change Would Boost Global Economy up to $2.6 Trillion a Year

Expanding public transit in India is one of the policies recommended in the new World Bank report.(Credit: Shutterstock) Click to enlarge.
An important new World Bank report concludes that just a few key policies aimed at cutting carbon pollution would boost the global economy.  The study Climate-Smart Development:  Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change, looks at the European Union plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the U.S.

The Bank finds that if all six embrace three sets of policies for clean transportation plus energy efficiency in industry in buildings, “the annual benefits of just these policies in 2030 include an estimated GDP growth of between $1.8 trillion and $2.6 trillion.”  Furthermore, the report found that “these policies alone would account for 30 percent of the total reduction needed in 2030 to limit global warming to 2°C [3.6°F].”

The overall benefits are staggering, as these policies avoid 94,000 premature pollution-related deaths and 8.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions. They save nearly 16 billion kilowatt-hours of energy — roughly equivalent to taking 2 billion cars off the road.

The report builds on recent efforts to estimate the development benefits that come with a reduction in climate pollutants.  These include economic growth, new jobs, improved crop yields, enhanced energy security, healthier people, and millions of lives saved.  In many cases these benefits accrue quickly, and they accrue locally, primarily in the nation where action is taken.

World Bank:  Fighting Climate Change Would Boost Global Economy up to $2.6 Trillion a Year

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