Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Study:  Health Benefits Will Offset Cost of China’s Climate Policy

A 4 percent reduction per year in carbon dioxide emissions should net $339 billion in health savings in 2030, researchers estimate.

A man rides in heavy fog and haze in Jinan City, capital of east China's Shandong Province, Jan. 4, 2017. The provincial meteorological observatory issued a red alert for fog and extended its orange alert for smog on the day. (Photo Credit: Xinhua/Zhu Zheng) Click to Enlarge.
A new MIT study reports that, if China follows through with its international pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, every one of its provinces will experience benefits to air quality and human health, with associated monetary savings that could offset the total cost of implementing the climate policy.

The study, published  Monday in Nature Climate Change, estimates that by meeting its greenhouse gas-reduction goals, China would simultaneously improve its air quality, which would avoid a significant number of deaths due to air pollution, across every province.  Fewer deaths from air pollution means a benefit for society that can be quantified — a $339 billion savings in 2030 that the researchers estimate could be about four times what it would cost China to meet its climate goals.

In other words the country’s climate policy would more than pay for itself.

“The country could actually come out net positive, just based on the health co-benefits associated with air quality improvements, relative to the cost of a climate policy,” says study co-author Noelle Eckley Selin, an associate professor in MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).  “This is a motivating factor for countries to engage in global climate policy.”

Read more at Study:  Health Benefits Will Offset Cost of China’s Climate Policy

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