The damages and risks of climate change have been well publicized while the immediate benefits of acting on this global threat have not. A U.S. Climate Opportunity Map has been developed to fill this gap and enable users to learn about what potential benefits await communities if net-zero energy policies are pursued.

Positive economic benefits of acting on climate change by implementing decarbonization measures are estimated in terms of local and regional employment opportunities, health benefits and other outcomes. Developed at Brown University to emphasize the upside of such policies, the Climate Opportunity Map evaluates data from sources such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2021 Social Vulnerability Report, Stanford University’s 100% Wind, Water and Solar Project, and other records to predict what could happen in just two decades if the U.S. moves ambitiously on a decarbonization path consistent with the Paris Agreement.

When applied to the region of Rhode Island where Brown University is located, the interactive tool reveals varied benefits can be realized within the next generation following investments in clean energy and other climate solutions:

  • 2,000 new jobs building new renewable energy infrastructure
  • 2,000 new jobs operating new renewable energy infrastructure
  • 1 million hours saved by reducing weather-driven traffic delays
  • an annual savings of $376 on electricity for 206,000 households
  • six lives saved annually due to cleaner air
To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com