What the world could look like in 2030: A future with clean energy


t is not enough for politicians to talk about climate change – we need to push them for solutions. The conversation has moved past whether or not climate change exists. It is time to focus on concrete solutions to this problem, and organizations like NextGen Climate are hard at work on this.NextGen Climate is calling on candidates and elected officials to propose a plan to power America with more than 50% clean energy by 2030, putting us on a pathway to 100% clean energy by 2050. But what does this future actually look like?

It is a world with better public health, more economic opportunity and less environmental degradation. Let’s paint this picture.


Switching to clean energy and burning less fossil fuels means the air we breathe will be cleaner. Today 138.5 million Americans, almost 44% of the nation, live in areas where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breathe. Left unaddressed, climate change will make this worse because higher temperatures and more frequent and intense drought cause higher levels of the most widespread forms of pollution: smog (ground-level ozone) and particulate matter. However, powering our country with more than 50% clean energy by 2030 will help solve climate change and make the air we breathe cleaner.

138.5 million


Clean energy creates millions of jobs and encourages economic grow

According to an economic analysis by the consulting firm ICF, increasing investment in clean energy will create over 1 million jobs in  2030 and up to 2 million jobs in 2050 compared to the current trajectory. Building out the clean energy infrastructure needed to power our economy will lead to job growth in several sectors, including construction and manufacturing.

$44 trillion loss to global GDP by 2060 if climate change goes unaddressed.


Clean energy protects the environment

Placing value on the environment means protecting important aspects to local economies like agriculture, tourism and outdoor recreation. This means stable food prices, preservation of snowpack, and maintaining beach access. More than this, it also means preserving people’s right to enjoy the great outdoors — and preserving our children and grandchildren’s right to experience the natural world the way we have been able to.


Hitting NextGen Climate’s 50 by 30 goal

This milestone is attainable. More than 50 percent clean energy by 2030 is achievable with existing technology, and the transition to a clean energy economy is already underway.

Developing a picture of success — our portrait of a world that runs on clean energy — is part of that process. Envisioning a better future motivates present-day policy decisions — the goal is to drive the demand for swift and meaningful changes that address climate change, now, and to inspire every individual to demand a plan from their elected official to address climate change so that they can have the clean energy future we’ve just described.

The future without climate change action looks much different. A recent Citigroup report estimates that losses to global GDP from climate change will total $44 trillion by 2060.

Furthermore, new research by leading economists demonstrates that U.S. GDP would decline 5% by 2050 and 36% by 2100 if climate change is not addressed.

Investment in clean energy, on the other hand, will save Americans $5.3 billion by 2030 and $41 billion by 2050 on their energy bills. Deploying clean energy and improving energy efficiency actually puts money in Americans pockets, increasing household disposable income by $350 – $400 in 2030 and by as much as $650 in 2050. Think of what you could you do with some extra disposable income!

Americans live in areas where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breathe

If we fail to address climate change, devastating storms and droughts will be the new normal. As temperatures continue to rise, extreme heatwaves will increase in frequency, intensity, and duration. Additionally, heavier precipitation events and flooding will occur more and more often, contaminating drinking water and causing billions in property damage. Is this a world we want to live in? We have the ability to change our future. Demand a plan from your elected officials and candidates to address climate change and power America with more than 50% clean energy by 2030.


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