Energy-saving buildings and climate-smart cities could help save $22tn around the world, economists argue


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Expanded public transit, energy-saving buildings, and better waste management could help cities and countries around the world save up to $22tn and avoid the equivalent in carbon pollution of India’s entire annual output of greenhouse gasses, according to leading economists.

The Global Commission on Climate and Economy, an independent initiative by former finance ministers and leading research institutions from Britain and six other countries, found climate-smart cities would spur economic growth and a better quality of life – at the same time as cutting carbon pollution.

If national governments back those efforts, the savings on transport, buildings, and waste disposal could reach up to $22tn ($14tn) by 2050, the researchers found. By 2030, those efforts would avoid the equivalent of 3.7 gigatonnes a year – more than India’s current greenhouse gas emissions, the report found.

The report called on the world’s leading cities to commit to low carbon development strategies by 2020.

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