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, a new report has found.
The report, commissioned by the Climate Action Network, also found that about 1.3 million people who are killed prematurely by air pollution could be saved if these major economies made the switch.
It would also create 3 million new jobs by 2030, the report claims.
The study predicted that if all countries started moving towards the 100 percent renewable target, global warming would not cross the 2ºC 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.
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.
Though study authors say progress has been slow, such a goal 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.
In the US, the city of 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.
Source: Climate Action Network