Government policies that improve energy efficiency and public transport could increase global economic output by as much as $2.6 trillion per year, and also save lives, reduce crop losses and tackle climate change, according to analysis from the World Bank and the ClimateWorks Foundation.
The Adding up the Benefits report, released in advance of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September, shows the potential economic, health and other gains from scaling up climate-smart policies as well as projects already in place in developing countries like Brazil, India and Mexico.
The report focuses on five countries — Brazil, China, India, Mexico and the US —plus the European Union. It uses a new modeling framework to examine the benefits that ambitious climate mitigation policies can generate across the transportation, industry and building sectors, as well as in waste and cooking fuels.
The report finds that government policies stimulating a shift to clean transport and improved energy efficiency in factories, buildings and appliances could increase global GDP growth by an estimated $1.8 trillion to $2.6 trillion a year by 2030.
At the same time, the policies could avert approximately 94,000 premature deaths from pollution-related diseases a year in 2030 as well as prevent the production of greenhouse gas emissions roughly equivalent to taking 2 billion cars off the road.
If fully implemented, the set of regulatory, tax and other policy actions outlined in the report could account for 30 percent of the total emissions reduction needed in 2030 to limit global warming to 2°Celsius.
Economic losses from climate change-related extreme weather events have risen from an annual global average of about $50 billion in the 1980s to close to $200 billion over the last decade, according to the report released in November by the World Bank.