San Francisco climate summit delegates place high hope on huge benefits from stepped up climate action

Sunday, 2018-09-16 08:14:31
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More than 4,500 participants of an international climate summit held in San Francisco on September 14 maintained that huge economic and environmental benefits can be achieved from climate action to be taken before the critical year of 2020.

The delegates from states and regions, cities, business, investors and civil society at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), which opened in San Francisco on September 13, underlined the transformational action they are already pursuing.

They said if the climate action is taken ahead of 2020, when global greenhouse gases need to peak and fall sharply thereafter, more than 65 million new low-carbon jobs can be generated in 2030, equivalent to today's entire workforce of Britain and Egypt combined.

A stepped-up transition to a low-carbon economy can yield US$26 trillion in economic benefits worldwide through 2030 and avoid over 700,000 premature deaths from air pollution by that time.

The summit participants unveiled a range of bold commitments across five challenge areas, namely in healthy energy system, inclusive economic growth, sustainable communities, land and ocean stewardship, and transformative climate investments.

More than 100 officials have pledged to stay committed to carbon neutrality or removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as the same target set by California Governor Jerry Brown to push the state to be 100 percent carbon-neutral by 2045.

Brown signed on September 10 two bills into law to push for an ambitious goal of reducing the state's net output of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to zero in 27 years from now.

With the anticipated transition, an estimated US$2.8 trillion, in government revenues can be generated from the low-carbon economy in 2030, and the funds can be used to invest in other public priorities or reduce distorting taxes, said the delegates.

The transition to more sustainable forms of agriculture combined with strong forest protection will deliver potentially more than US$2 trillion of economic benefits every year.

They said restoring forests, degraded lands and coastal zones will boost human adaptation to climate impacts, from more extreme weather patterns to sea-level rise.