Shifting our communities and country to clean energy will not only slow the rise of greenhouse gasses, but it also has the potential to create millions of jobs, improve public health, and even create financial gain for the global economies.
$5.2 trillion is the amount spent globally on fossil fuel subsidies in 2017.
80% of the US could be powered, in principle, by renewables.
28% of global warming emissions in the U.S. that come from the transportation sector.
10x more jobs that a green economy (alternative energy) could produce in comparison to the fossil fuel industry.
1,400 is the number of homes worth of electricity that 1 wind turbine could generate.
What is happening?
What are Fossil Fuels? Oil, coal and natural gas are formed from fossils, the millions-of-years-old remains of plants and animals. Because they were living things, they have a larger carbon content. As we burn these fossil fuels, the carbon is released into the atmosphere. It is no surprise then that oil, coal, and natural gasses are some of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. However, right now we depend on them for our personal needs (like heating our homes and running our cars), but also to power our industry to run our economy.
What are the effects?
What might come as a surprise is that fossil fuels are no longer the cheapest energy source. Renewables are actually becoming less expensive to install and use. Renewable energy is generally thought of as solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and biomass. The tricky part is that for every dollar spent to support renewable energy, 6 are spent on fossil fuel subsidies which make it appear that fossil fuels are cheaper. It is estimated that globally governments spend up to $600 billion a year (subsidies) to keep the prices of fossil fuels affordable. The money saved from subsidizing fossil fuels could be put toward education, health care, renewables, or even aiding sectors still dependent on fossil fuels. All this on top of combating climate change! All this said, the renewables industry is still growing and heat generation by renewable electricity is expected to see a 40% increase in the next 4 years.