Human Health Improves with Reduction in Carbon Emissions: New Study
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – A new research study in the US says that the health of human beings can improve and millions of lives can be saved if carbon emissions were reduced with concerted global efforts. Jason West of the University of North Carolina and his colleagues studied the effects of climate mitigation on health. They have released a report saying that as the greenhouse gas emissions reduce, so do levels of fine particulate matter and ozone.
These by-products of fossil fuel combustion are well recognized health hazards, which can impose massive health costs on the society. With the reduction of carbon emissions, the global health payoff can be substantial, according to the report called “Nature Climate Change.” The authors of the report state that in US dollar terms, each ton of CO2 emissions reduced would make the world richer by anywhere between $50 and $380.
Some researchers have argued that efforts to achieve climate mitigation would not be cost effective. Therefore, Dr. West and his colleagues restricted their study to just the immediate incidental gains from reduced carbon emissions. They considered the rise in global transport, the impact of methane on global ozone levels and future population growth projections.
The report did not attempt to estimate the value of limiting rise in sea levels, or restraining the spread of tropical and subtropical diseases into the temperate zones or the devastation caused due to increased hazards of flood, drought and heat waves in a warmer world.
Just looking at the incidental pollutants that accompany fossil fuel combustion, they calculated that by 2030, somewhere between 300,000 and 700,000 deaths per year could be avoided with reduced in carbon emissions. Real action by 2100 could prevent 2.2 million premature deaths a year. Money saved in the first few decades for health services alone by reducing emissions would surpass the overall economic cost of climate mitigation.
Source: Eco Business