A recent study revealed that climate change, at its current rate, will cost the US economy $2 trillion in damages by 2030. Now, as revealed by a new analysis, the world will be set to lose out on a paycheck of $19 trillion by the mid-21st century if America alone pulls out of the Paris agreement and other countries can’t pick up its significant slack.
According to the report, which is co-sponsored by the International Energy Agency (IEA), by investing in wind and solar power technologies, improving energy efficiency, and ramping down fossil fuel usage, three things will happen.
Firstly, there will be less damage from natural disasters. Secondly, there will be a lot more jobs around to add to the economy. Thirdly, the updated energy grid will boost international productivity. All in all, the costs of investing in clean energy will be massively offset by the international GDP gain.
The groundbreaking Paris agreement, which came into force in November of last year, was ratified by the Obama administration. Signatories are legally mandated to work on cutting their carbon footprints and to report their progress to the UN.
Trump, however, has signaled he wants to pull out of it. Although the process of withdrawal formally takes four years, the Trump administration will likely do the bare minimum to abide by it in the meantime.
Consequently, the world is set to miss out on that $19 trillion unless Trump changes his government’s tune quite considerably. This, of course, it highly unlikely to happen.
The Trump administration contains some of the most extreme climate change deniers the world has ever seen. The President himself has a personal and bemusing vendetta against wind power, and has promised to revive America’s flagging coal industry, which many consider to be in the throes of its own death spiral.
It’s worth noting that the report also comes courtesy of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a pro-clean energy group. This does mean that the numbers in the report may be slightly optimistic, but the organization isn’t wrong is concluding that investing in renewable energy will give any nation a serious cash injection.
Solar and wind power have never been cheaper, and as fossil fuels fall increasingly out of favor due to their economic and environmental risks, clean energy will continue to proliferate increasingly rapidly across the world, from the European Union to China.
Apart from saving our species from a superheated world devoid of biodiversity and full of commonplace, extreme weather phenomena, renewables will boost the world economy by generating energy cheaply and creating millions upon millions of new jobs.
Trump, who literally cannot stop boasting about job creation he isn’t actually responsible for, should take note.