With its commitment to cut carbon pollution 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, Europe is missing out on deeper economic gains that could result from an even more ambitious target, according to an analysis by the Cologne-based NewClimate Institute.
Current plans to cut carbon pollution in China, the United States, and the European Union will be enough to create nearly a million green jobs world-wide by 2030, Reuters reports. The Guardian notes that Europe is already on track to create 70,000 jobs, prevent about 6,000 pollution-related deaths, and save €33 billion in reduced fossil fuel imports.
But a 55% emissions reduction would create 420,000 jobs, save 46,000 lives, and deliver fuel savings worth €173 billion, the Institute found.
“This report adds to the growing body of evidence that greater climate ambition means better health,” said Anne Stauffer, deputy director of the Health and Environment Alliance in Brussels. “The massive health benefits expected from mitigation action not only include premature deaths avoided, but also reduced health care costs and increased productivity. This should be welcome news for European decision-makers.”
Across the three larger regions in the study, said co-author Niklas Hoehne, a deeper commitment to produce all energy from renewable sources by 2050 would create more than three million jobs and save around US$520 billion a year in fossil fuel imports. Hoehne said the scope of the study was limited to solar, wind, and hydropower—so that energy efficiency measures would drive the job creation count much higher.