The adoption of targets for 100 per cent renewables by 2050 could deliver combined energy savings of more than $500 billion a year to the major economies of the EU, the US and China, and create millions of new jobs, a new study has found.
The study, released this week by NewClimate Institute and commissioned by Climate Action Network, also found that if all countries took action on renewables at this scale, global warming would not cross the 2°C threshold beyond which scientists predict would result in dangerous and irreversible changes to the earth’s climate.
The report – which focuses on the benefits that the three economic giants’ climate commitments stand to deliver – comes as developed countries lodge their climate offers with the UN ahead of a new international agreement to be signed in Paris this December.
It finds that the steps outlined in the plans for the US, EU and China will create almost 1 million new jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 113,000 people, and generate huge savings from avoiding the high costs of imported fossil fuels.
But if all the three regions scaled up their commitments to be in line with the transition to 100 per ceny renewables by mid-century, this would create around 3 million jobs by 2030; save the lives of around 2 million people who would otherwise fall victim to deadly air pollution; and save around $520 billion from avoided fossil fuel imports per year, the report said.
“Over 100 countries have thrown their support behind a phase out of fossil fuel emissions and it’s not hard to see why,” said Climate Action Network chair Mohamed Adow.
“Making a just transition to 100 per cent renewable energy is a no brainer as it means healthier economies and healthier people.”
According to the report, Europe would save around $US170 billion a year if it scaled up its current climate offer to include a 2050 100 per cent renewables target. As it stands, its current plan would save around $US33 billion a year on avoided fossil fuel imports.
The US, meanwhile, was expected to formally lodge an offer with the UN on Tuesday that would create around 470,000 jobs by 2030 in its burgeoning renewable energy sector, with even more potential in the country’s energy efficiency sector.