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Smart Policies Deliver Economic, Health and Climate Benefits, June 26, 2014 Adjust font size:

The “Adding Up the Benefits” report also simulates a scale-up of three existing projects (and a scenario in China) to determine their potential impact over 20 years: bus rapid transit in India, solid waste management in Brazil, agricultural waste management in Mexico, and clean cookstoves in China.

It found that the aggregate benefits are estimated to include more than 1 million lives saved, about 1 million to 1.5 million tons of crop losses avoided, and some 200,000 jobs created. These projects could reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by 355 million to 520 million metric tons, roughly equal to shutting down 100 to 150 coal-fired power plants. At the country level:

• If India built 1,000 kilometers of new bus rapid transit lanes, that could save more than 27,000 lives from reduced accidents and air pollution and create 128,000 jobs.

• If Brazil sent all solid waste to sanitary landfills where methane gas collection and biogas produced electricity, it could create 44,000 new jobs and increase national GDP by over $13.3 billion.

• If Mexico equipped 90 percent of its pig and dairy farms with biogas and solar energy systems it could cut agricultural energy use by 11%, create 1,400 jobs, and grow the country’s GDP by $1.1 billion.

• If China deployed 70 million clean cookstoves, it could avoid an estimated 1 million plus premature deaths, reap almost $11 billion in economic benefits and create 22,000 jobs.

This report outlines a promising path for countries that are striving to advance local development priorities while also pursuing climate-resilient, low carbon growth in light of the challenges of climate change.

“Governments should take a close look at the evidence in this report,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change. “It reinforces the economic case for action over inaction on climate change. The report shows that climate action does not require economic sacrifice or, put differently, good economic stewardship can reap huge climate rewards.”

About the U.N. Climate Summit:

As part of a global effort to mobilize action and ambition on climate change, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited heads of state and government along with business, finance, civil society and local leaders to a Climate Summit on Sept. 23, 2014, in New York. The Climate Summit is aimed at catalyzing action by governments, business, finance, industry, and civil society in areas for new commitments and substantial, scalable and replicable contributions that will help the world shift toward a low-carbon economy. It comes one year before countries aim to conclude a global climate agreement in 2015 through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the report, saying "There is growing momentum for action on climate change because it is good for people's well-being, job creation and business opportunities. This is what the 23 September Climate Summit will showcase -- government, business and civil society leaders supporting transformative action on climate change that will benefit all."

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