Cleantech could help cities save $17 trillion

Smart infrastructure choices from cities worldwide would save them $17 trillion (15.2 billion euros) by 2050. The solutions – renewable energy, public transportation, energy efficiency – are not new but the lens of this new study is interesting. 

The aforementioned sum is only taking into account the energy savings. No doubt that by taking into consideration the health and well-being gains but also the productivity of the citizens, the gains would be much more important. Twice these amounts ? More ?

Regarding greenhouse gases emissions, savings could measure to up to 3.7 metric gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2030. That’s more than the annual emissions of India. So this is not exactly small change. This is even a huge leap towards the much needed carbon neutrality.

Not so long ago, I thought only nations and countries would help us climate change. I was wrong. Cities, communities and companies will do their part, and in a big way as this new study from the New Climate Economy shows.

By adapting the best practices of cities worldwide, all metropoloses would achieve tremendous improvements on the quality of life of millions of citizens. Among the best practices outlined in the study are :

  • Bus Rapid Transit: The economic returns of Johannesburg’s Bus Rapid Transit system in its first phase were close to US$900 million.
  • Building efficiency: Singapore’s “Green Mark” program, for instance, which aims to cover 80% of its buildings by 2030, could see a reduction in building electricity use of 22% and net economic savings of over US$400 million.
  • Cycling: Copenhagen’s planned Cycle Super Highways are estimated to have an internal rate of return on investment of 19% per year.

Please check out the full report for more. Cleantechnica also has a nice angle to the story.

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