Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will cut air pollution, saving lives and therefore money. So switching to clean energy would pay for itself almost immediately, according to a new analysis “Co-benefits of mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions for future air quality and human health” published in Nature Climate Change.
By 2050, 1.3 million early deaths could be avoided every year. From estimates of how much society values a human life, researchers deduce that the new energy supplies should be worth the cost. The global average marginal co-benefits of avoided mortality are US$50–380 per tonne of CO2, which exceed marginal CO2 abatement costs in 2030 and 2050. The conclusion offers a strong incentive to countries to start cutting back on fossil fuels as soon as possible.
Source: New Scientist, 22 September 2013