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Report: Renewable energy transition would save 317,500 US lives

The US has a new set goal of boosting renewable energy production to reach 80 percent of energy needs by the end of the decade. While this is great news for the planet, it turns out it’s also great news for human health.

A new study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Syracuse University find that achieving 80 percent renewable energy sourcing would also save 317,500 lives in the US over the next 30 years.

The lifesaving effects would be the result of a sharp reduction in air pollution caused by burning oil, gas, and coal. According to the researchers, the lifesaving effects would be “immediate, widespread and substantial.”

In addition to saving lives, these health benefits would also produce $1.13tn in health savings. Although the transition to a renewable economy would cost an estimated $342bn, that’s a small price to pay compared to the financial benefits of addressing the climate crisis which totals an estimated $637bn.

Kathy Fallon Lambert, study co-author and an air quality expert at Harvard tells the Guardian, “The costs are much lower than we expected and the deaths avoided are much higher; there really is a huge opportunity here to address climate change and air quality.”

Source study: Syracuse University – Clean Energy Futures

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