Efforts to slow climate change won’t just keep the planet habitable. They will also boost the world economy by $19 trillion.
Investments in renewable power and energy efficiency will add about 0.8 percent to global gross domestic product by 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency, or Irena, said Monday in a report produced for the German government. Governments are committing resources to green energy in a bid to keep warming within 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), of pre-industrial conditions, in accordance with the landmark Paris Agreement on global warming.
Germany commissioned the report in preparation for energy and climate talks among the Group of 20 economies over the coming months. Those discussions begin this week as host Germany presents a plan for supporting the Paris accord to officials at the G-20 Sustainability Working Group.
Irena, which produced the study along with the International Energy Agency, said the share of renewable energy needs to increase to 65 percent of the primary energy supply in 2050, from about 15 percent in 2015.
That sweeping transformation of the energy sector could also force fossil fuel companies to leave $10 trillion of coal, oil, gas and other assets stranded underground and elsewhere, according to Abu Dhabi-based Irena. That’s higher than the $320 billion forecast under the IEA’s scenario.
The investment in renewables and energy efficiency, however, would more than offset these losses and create about 6 million jobs, Irena found.