Recent climate policy commitments by the US, EU and China will lead to a million more jobs, over 100,000 fewer deaths and billions saved in fuel imports, a just-released study by the NewClimate Institute has revealed.
Commissioned by Climate Action Network, the study calculated co-benefits of reducing carbon emissions for the three economies, and also found that scaling up the commitments to limit climate change to 2°C with 100 per cent renewable energy would lead to savings of US$523 billion a year in reduced fuel imports, 1.3 million fewer premature deaths from air pollution and three million more green jobs.
“Over 100 countries have thrown their support behind a phase out of fossil fuel emissions and it’s not hard to see why – making a just transition to 100 per cent renewable energy is a no brainer as it means healthier economies and healthier people,” Climate Action Network chair Mohamed Adow said.
The report comes as developed countries are due to lodge their climate commitment offers with the UN by today (Tuesday), which will form the building blocks of a new climate agreement to be signed in Paris in December.
“This new analysis shows that any governments currently formulating climate action plans should consider the significant benefits for their people that could be achieved by setting their ambition levels to maximum,” study author Niklas Höhne from the NewClimate Institute said.
A media release said other major economies such as Australia, Japan and Canada appeared to have missed today’s deadline for lodging climate action commitments with the UN.
Australia needs to reduce emissions by 40-60 per cent by 2030 based on 2000 levels to match commitments being made globally, the independent Climate Change Authority has recommended.
The Abbott government is expected to release its updated emissions target mid-year, though a recently released discussion paper provides little hope, with the government referring to its current Direct Action policy as the main mechanism to reduce emissions into the future, a scheme many commentators say will struggle to meet the five per cent cut by 2020 it is currently targeting.