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Coal power plant, Datteln. Photo Arnold Paul.

7 March 2014

Renewable energy has big co-benefits in reducing toxic mercury emissions


29 January 2014

Co-benefits of climate action worth at least £85 billion in UK

wind turbines

6 January 2014

Climate policy boosts energy security

More news...

Climate Bonus book front coverCo-benefits of climate action

This website is all about the added benefits - called co-benefits - of climate action. Although often seen as an economic burden, climate action can pay for itself because the cost of investing in clean, efficient, low carbon technologies is offset by the savings in health care costs, energy costs and other co-benefits. The added benefits include:

  • Cleaner air, from using less coal, oil and gas (the main source of air pollution that kills millions of people every year).
  • Less damage from extracting fossil fuels - oil spills, coal mine accidents, pollution from oil refineries and so on.
  • Less waste of energy and other resources, leading to cost savings for businesses and consumers.
  • More secure and cheaper energy supplies in the long term, as fossil fuel becomes more scarce and expensive, and renewable energy gets cheaper.
  • Benefits for wildlife from planting trees, preserving existing forests and switching to more sustainable farming.
  • More stable economies. Our culture is geared to a cycle of endlessly growing consumption, which cannot continue forever. A less wasteful economy will help to avoid future shortages and price shocks.
  • Healthier lifestyles, for example from walking and cycling instead of driving, and eating less animal produce. About two thirds of all attributable deaths in developed countries are due to lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits.
Some climate-friendly technologies have drawbacks, such as the waste disposal problems and accident risks of nuclear power, and the visual impacts of wind turbines. By looking at the big picture, including all the co-benefits and conflicts of each policy, we can maximise the benefits and minimise any problems.

Even for those who don't believe climate change is a problem, I hope this website will persuade you that we should be doing a lot of this climate-friendly stuff anyway, because we will end up with a cleaner, safer, healthier and more prosperous world.