The Climate Bonus
Co-benefits of Climate Policy
By Alison Smith
Routledge – 2013 – 448 pages
We urgently need to transform to a low carbon society, yet our progress is painfully slow, in part because there is widespread public concern that this will require sacrifice and high costs. But this need not be the case. Many carbon reduction policies provide a range of additional benefits, from reduced air pollution and increased energy security to financial savings and healthier lifestyles, that can offset the costs of climate action.
This book maps out the links between low carbon policies and their co-benefits, and shows how low carbon policies can lead to cleaner air and water, conservation of forests, more sustainable agriculture, less waste, safer and more secure energy, cost savings for households and businesses and a stronger and more stable economy. The book discusses the ways in which joined-up policies can help to maximise the synergies and minimise the conflicts between climate policy and other aspects of sustainability.
Through rigorous analysis of the facts, the author presents well-reasoned and evidenced recommendations for policy-makers and all those with an interest in making a healthier and happier society. This book shows us how, instead of being paralysed by the threat of climate change, we can use it as a stimulus to escape from our dependence on polluting fossil fuels, and make the transition to a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future.
'The Climate Bonus comes at a crucial time in national and international climate policy. It provides a compelling vision and strategy for a path forward to carbon reduction by linking climate change to the immediate concerns of policy makers: human health, land management, resource security and economic stability.' – Douglas Crawford-Brown, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, University of Cambridge, UK
'Policies to address climate change can yield many immediate benefits – cleaner air, improved health, a stronger economy, greater energy security, reduced waste and more robust ecosystems. The Climate Bonus documents these potential co-benefits of climate change policies. We need to act now to address climate change and to reap these numerous co-benefits.' – Erik Haites, President of Margaree Consultants Inc., Canada
'This book brings some fresh thinking to tackling climate change. It makes the key point that saving the planet is not rocket science and that there is much we can do now. It also brings out the often overlooked role of material resource efficiency, pointing out that it is just as important as energy efficiency for meeting climate targets.' – Marcus Gover, Director of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), UK
'This book makes a very important contribution to the climate debate. It will enable both policy makers and the general public to understand that reducing our fossil fuel dependency won’t just benefit the climate, but people’s health across the board, as a result of cleaner air, healthier diets and more opportunities for walking and cycling.' – Génon Jensen, Executive Director of the Health and Environment Alliance and member of the World Health Organization’s European Health and Environment Task Force, Belgium
'The Climate Bonus is a powerful and very much recommended addition to environmental and economics collections, not to be missed.' – James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review
1. Introduction 2. The Big Picture: How climate policies are linked to co-benefits 3. Cleaner Air: Cutting fossil fuel pollution 4. Greener Land: Forests, food and farming 5. Secure and Safe Energy: Adapting to Peak Oil 6. Less Waste: A resource-efficient economy 7. A Stronger Economy: Long-term stability and prosperity 8. Health and Well-being: Benefits of a low-carbon lifestyle 9. Joining the Dots
Alison Smith is an environmental policy consultant with 15 years' experience of advising the UK government and the European Commission, and has been a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.