Taking action to stay within 1.5ºC

Transforming the global energy system

to combat climate change

A greener, healthier and more prosperous world

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C through electrification and green energy build-out brings significant benefits for the environment and climate.In addition, making the switch from a fossil fuel-based energy system to a renewable energy system also brings a number of other material and societal benefits.

Accelerating the global transformation from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy can:


Save up to 4 million lives a year due to cleaner airCitation Due to the nature of such projections, estimates of future benefits are subject to great uncertainty.

  • Each year, around 7 million people die from diseases related to indoor and outdoor air pollutionCitation World Health Organization (2016) Ambient air pollution: a global assessment of exposure and burden of disease.
  • Accelerating the transition to clean energy and improving air quality could save up to 4 million lives a year by 2030Citation IRENA (2016) The True Cost of Fossil Fuels: Saving on the Externalities of Air Pollution and Climate Change.

Help deliver electricity to the people who do not currently have power

  • Almost one billion people have no access to electricity, which negatively impacts public health, education and economic growthCitation IEA (2018) World Energy Outlook.
  •  Investing in distributed green solar energy is key in areas with non-existent or weak power grids, ensuring that green power can reach all corners of   the world and all of the 8.5 billion people that will be inhabiting planet Earth, in 2030

Accelerated climate action could lead to a net employment gain of up to 37 million jobs in 2030

Improve energy independence for more people and countries

  • More than two thirds of countries in the world are not self-sufficient in meeting their own energy needs Citation IEA (2019) World Energy Balances.
  • A faster build-out of renewables could save energy-importing G20 countries alone USD 1.95 trillion in energy imports in 2050 Citation IEA and IRENA (2017) Perspectives for the Energy Transition.

Deliver sustainable growth

  • Investing in transforming the energy system could boost global GDP by as much as 2.5% by 2050 Citation IRENA (2019) Global Energy Transformation – Roadmap for 2050.
  • The increase is mainly due to investments in the energy system, carbon tax changes and future reduced energy expenditure

Create 37 million new jobs globally

  • Accelerated climate action could lead to a net employment gain of up to 37 million jobs in 2030 Citation New Climate Economy (2018) Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century. Even though going green is a no regret move with net benefits for employment and the economy it’s important to ensure a just transition within and among countries to handle loss of jobs in some industries and support the countries that are facing the biggest challenges in replacing fossil fuels.
  • This is more than the entire labour force of the United Kingdom

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