Absolutely $ savings tell only a small part of the story, but they are important figures to have. And it is helpful to have (admittedly handwavy) quantitative measures of broader impact.
I don’t really care what the progress clause says. Only somewhat relevant for less than 1/20 of the world’s population. Furthermore, policy analysis, which is what I care about, says the same thing regardless of what appears in a certain text. And that analysis needs to take into account the costs of activities, not merely benefits, or you get analysis that says activities should be encouraged more (or discouraged less) than is socially optimal.