Meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and preventing runaway climate change will first and foremost require a global transition to renewable energy – and a team of scientists has developed roadmaps to do it. Scientists at Stanford University published a study describing how 139 countries, accounting for 99% of greenhouse gas emissions can power themselves entirely with clean forms energy, such as wind, water, and solar by the year 2050.
According to the study, a worldwide transition to clean energy could create up to 24 million long-term jobs and could be achieved at a similar cost to a business-as-usual pathway. Moreover, the team calculated that the transition could prevent four to seven million premature air pollution deaths while saving more than $20 trillion in health-care costs annually.
Of course, spurring the shift on the scale and scope needed will require a significant shift in the social, cultural and political facets that shape energy systems. Scientists hope that providing more details through studies like this will help convince decision makers and public that a 100 percent renewable pathway is a viable solution.