World Bank Analyzes Economic, Health Benefits of Climate-Smart Policies

World Bank23 June 2014: The World Bank, in partnership with the ClimateWorks Foundation, has released an analysis that estimates global economic output could increase by US$1.8 trillion annually through government policies that encourage energy efficiency and improve public transport. The report finds that such policies could save over one million lives, reduce crop losses by 1-1.5 million tons, and avoid 355 to 520 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions.

'Climate-Smart Development: Adding up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change' examines the potential benefits of ambitious mitigation action in the EU, the US, China, India, Brazil and Mexico. The effects are considered in a number of sectors: transportation, industry, buildings, waste and cooking fuels. The modeling results show that policies focused on clean transport and energy efficiency in factories, buildings and appliances could contribute an estimated US$1.8 to 2.6 trillion to global output annually by 2030.

In particular, the policies examined at the country level include, inter alia: bus rapid transit (BRT) in India; electricity production from methane gas and biogas in Brazil; solar and biogas systems for agricultural operations in Mexico; and clean cookstoves in China. The analysis includes calculations for the number of jobs that would be added in each country and at the aggregate level (200,000).

Both World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted the report's importance for the Climate Summit being hosted by Ban in September 2014. Ban highlighted the timeliness and relevance of the report, saying "This is what the 23 September Climate Summit will showcase: government, business and civil society leaders supporting transformative action on climate change that will benefit all."

Calling on leaders to put forward ambitious actions in September, Kim underlined that "he report's findings show clearly that the right policy choices can deliver significant benefits to lives, jobs, crops, energy , and GDP – as well as emissions reductions to combat climate change." He added that the September Climate Summit provides "a critical opportunity for world leaders to be on the right side of history, to champion ambitious action that not only cuts carbon pollution, but also delivers jobs and economic opportunity." [World Bank Press Release] [World Bank Publication Webpage] [Publication: Climate-Smart Development: Adding up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change (Vol. 1 of 2)]