Ending climate change could boost global economy by trillions

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As well as keeping the planet habitable, slowing or stopping climate change could boost the global economy by $19 trillion, the Independent recently reported.
 
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency's (IRENA) report produced for the German government, investments in energy efficiency and renewable power will add approximately 0.8% to global gross domestic product (GDP) by the year 2050.
 
In line with the landmark Paris Agreement, governments throughout the world are striving to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celcius (3.6 Fahrenheit) of pre-industrial conditions, by committing more resources to green energy.
As Germany prepares to host the G-20 Sustainability Working Group, it commissioned the report – 'Energy Transition: Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition' – to prepare for the energy and climate talks due to take place over the coming months.
 
Abu-Dhabi-based IRENA produced the report, in collaboration with the International Energy Agency. According to the findings, the share of renewable energy must increase to 65% of the primary energy supply by 2050 – compared with the 15% recorded in 2015.
 
While this so-called "sweeping transformation" of the energy sector could force fossil fuel companies to abandon $10 trillion of assets such as coal, oil and gas, Irena forecasts that the investment in renewables and energy efficiency combined would "more than offset" these losses.
 
In addition to this, decarbonising the energy sector would create around six million jobs, not to mention improving human welfare through key environmental and health benefits thanks to reduced air pollution.
 
Commenting on the report, IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, noted that "the economic case for the energy transition has never been stronger."
 
"We are in a good position to transform the global energy system," he added, "but success will depend on urgent action, as delays will raise the costs of decarbonisation."
 
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