Stopping global warming won’t just keep the planet habitable. It would also boost the global economy by $19 trillion. Investing heavily in renewable power and energy efficiency to keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), in accordance with the landmark Paris Agreement, will increase the global economy around 0.8 percent by 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency said Monday in a report produced for the German government.
The government of Chancellor Angela Merkel commissioned the report in preparation for energy and climate talks for the Group of 20 economies over the coming months. Those discussions begin this week as 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. The organisation found energy intensity improvements will double. The catch is that the effort would require $145 trillion of investment in low-carbon technologies by the middle of the century.
That sweeping transformation of the energy sector could also force fossil fuel companies to leave $10 trillion of coal, oil and gas stranded underground, according to Abu Dhabi-based Irena. That’s higher than the $320 billion forecast under the IEA’s scenario. The investment in renewable energy, however, would more than offset these losses and create about 6 million jobs, Irena found.