Solar roofs in Freiburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany show that green building standards could cut electricity use. Photograph: imagebroker/Rex Shutterstock

Solar roofs in Freiburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany show that green building standards could cut electricity use. Photograph: imagebroker/Rex Shutterstock

Green buildings and better infrastructure would not only spur economic growth but also cut carbon emissions equal to India’s annual output.

Putting cities on a course of smart growth – with expanded public transit, energy-saving buildings, and better waste management – could save as much as $22tn and avoid the equivalent in carbon pollution of India’s entire annual output of greenhouse gasses, according to leading economists.

The finding upends the notion that it is too expensive to do anything about climate change – or that such efforts would make little real difference. Not true, said the researchers.

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ACT has done work encouraging renewable energy and engaging decision makers in supporting renewable energy. Though climate change is already here and will continue for some time, transitioning off fossil fuels will make adaptation easier to plan for and implement. Check out our reports on this important area of work here.