Full Title: The True Cost of Fossil Fuels: Saving on the Externalities of Air Pollution and Climate Change
Author(s): Anil Markandya (Basque Centre for Climate Change), Deger Saygin, Asami Miketa, Dolf Gielen and Nicholas Wagner
Publisher(s): International Renewable Energy Agency
Publication Date: January 1, 2016
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This brief quantifies air pollution and climate change externalities related to fossil fuels and the extent
these can be reduced with higher uptake of renewables. For this purpose, the analysis compares global
energy demand between now and 2030 through two cases: first, based on current and planned energy
policies; and second, by doubling the share of renewables in the energy mix within 15 years.
The reduction of pollution and climate impact through rapidly increased use of renewable energy by
2030 could save up to USD 4.2 trillion per year worldwide, 15 times the associated costs of doubling the
share of renewables. Today’s energy markets, however, do not adequately value climate impact or air
pollution. Energy and environmental policies need to correct for these externalities.