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Your Environment. Your Health.

Co-benefits of global greenhouse gas mitigation for future air quality and human health

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography

Details

Research article Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
Authors
West JJ, Smith SJ, Silva RA, Naik V, Zhang Y, Adelman Z, Fry MM, Anenberg S, Horowitz LW, and Lamarque JF
Journal
Nat Clim Chang
Summary
This cost-benefit analysis simulated the co-benefits of global greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions on air quality and human health using a global atmospheric model and future scenarios via two mechanisms: 1) reducing co-emitted air pollutants, and 2) slowing climate change. The authors estimated that relative to a reference scenario, global GHG mitigation avoids 0.5 million, 1.3 million, and 2.2 million premature deaths in 2030, 2050, and 2100 respectively, and that global average marginal co-benefits of avoided mortality are $50–380 (ton CO2)−1. They concluded that air quality and health co-benefits provide strong additional motivation for transitioning to a low-carbon future.
Population
Adults (≥ 30 years)

Health Outcomes

  • Mortality (premature deaths) due to cardiopulmonary disease, lung cancer, and respiratory outcomes

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Air pollutants (ozone, PM2.5)

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Type:

  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured:

  • Marginal costs of greenhouse gas reductions

Potential Cost Measures: (Not available)

Benefits Measures:

  • Avoided mortality

Potential Benefits:

  • Avoided cost of air pollution control
  • benefits to people younger than 30
  • benefits of avoided morbidity outcomes
  • ecosystem effects from reduced air pollution
  • benefits from reduced indoor air pollution
  • benefits from reduced fire and dust as result of slowing climate change

Location: (Not available)

Models Used:

  • MOZART-4 global chemical transport model used to simulate ozone and PM2.5 air quality in future scenarios
  • AM3 model
  • MAGICC climate model

Methods Used:

  • The authors estimated the co-benefits of global greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions on air quality and human health. The authors — 1) compared global GHG reductions for two future scenarios: a ‘no climate policy’ scenario and a second scenario with more aggressive GHG reduction policies; 2) used global atmospheric models to evaluate how these scenarios would affect air quality and human health in 2030, 2050, and 2100; and 3) monetized co-benefits of avoided air pollution mortality using high and low values of a statistical life and compared these values with the marginal costs of GHG reductions.

Sources Used:

  • Extended follow-up and spatial analysis of the American Cancer Society study linking particulate air pollution and mortality (Krewski et al., 2009); Projections of global health outcomes from 2005 to 2060 using the International Futures integrated forecasting model (Hughes et al., 2011); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Citation:

  • West JJ, Smith SJ, Silva RA, Naik V, Zhang Y, Adelman Z, Fry MM, Anenberg S, Horowitz LW, and Lamarque JF. 2013. Co-benefits of global greenhouse gas mitigation for future air quality and human health. Nat Clim Chang.

Pubmed:

DOI:

NIEHS Funding:

  • R21ES022600

Other Funding:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR grant #834285
  • and the Integrated Assessment Research Program in the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science
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