Study: 13 Gigatonnes Of CO2 Cuts Nets $14 Billion Savings


The United Nations Foundation and the Center for American Progress have presented an analysis of the core elements needed to combat climate change, and while their recommendations span many countries and industries, it turns out it will actually save money in the long run: $14 Billion dollars.

This report once again demonstrates that attending to climate change is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. Concerted and cooperative international action to get us on a pathway to a global 20 percent renewable electricity standard and halving deforestation by 2020 is the most cost-effective way to achieve our midterm emissions reductions goals. Just as important, improvements in energy efficiency across the board will pay for it all and generate new revenue to help the world’s poorest countries adapt to the impacts of climate change they are already experiencing.” said Center for American Progress President John Podesta.

Realistic gains in energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy, forest conservation and sustainable land use worldwide could achieve up to 75% of the required global carbon emissions reductions by the year 2020, at a net savings of $14 billion dollars, according to the report.

The recommendations include the following:

  • Increasing the rate of global energy efficiency improvement to 2.0 percent by 2015 (from current rate of 1.25 percent) would reduce emissions by 12 percent below business as usual in 2020, or 5.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, or GtCO2e, and would yield a net savings in 2020 of $98 billion.
  • Deriving 20 percent of the world’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020 would reduce emissions in 2020 by 10 percent below business as usual, or 1.3 GtCO2e, at a net cost in 2020 of $34 billion.
  • Reducing the annual rate of tropical deforestation 50 percent by 2020 and increasing the amount of land under sustainable management though habitat restoration and sustainable forestry, agriculture, and livestock practices would reduce emissions in 2020 by over 50 percent from business as usual, or 6.5 GtCO2e, at a net cost in 2020 of $51 billion.

These actions, along with immediate investments of $$1-$2 billion towards programs to assist the least developed and most vulnerable countries would make a major contribution to solving the climate problem. This initial effort could pave the way for increased global cooperation on other major issues as well.

A new international agreement is urgently needed to address climate change,” said U.N. Foundation President Timothy Wirth. “It must include emission reduction targets by developed countries, nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries, financial assistance to developing countries, and technology cooperation. Core elements of a new agreement include areas where all countries, both developed and developing, can take immediate action to reduce emissions—action that also supports sustainable development, economic growth, energy security, and public health.”

Worldchanging via Climate Progress

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Steve holds a degree in Environmental Engineering Technology from Humber College in Toronto, is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor. He currently lives in Victoria BC and works as a green building consultant specializing in residential projects.


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