A wedge-based approach to estimating health co-benefits of climate change mitigation activities in the United States

A wedge-based approach to estimating health co-benefits of climate change mitigation activities in the United States

TitleA wedge-based approach to estimating health co-benefits of climate change mitigation activities in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsJohn M Balbus, Jeffery B Greenblatt, Ramya Chari, Dev Millstein, Kristie L Ebi
JournalClimatic Change
Volume127
Issue2
Pagination199 - 210
Date Published10/2014
ISSN0165-0009
Abstract

While it has been recognized that actions reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can have significant positive and negative impacts on human health through reductions in ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations, these impacts are rarely taken into account when analyzing specific policies. This study presents a new framework for estimating the change in health outcomes resulting from implementation of specific carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction activities, allowing comparison of different sectors and options for climate mitigation activities. Our estimates suggest that in the year 2020, the reductions in adverse health outcomes from lessened exposure to PM2.5 would yield economic benefits in the range of $6 to $30 billion (in 2008 USD), depending on the specific activity. This equates to between $40 and $198 per metric ton of CO2 in health benefits. Specific climate interventions will vary in the health co-benefits they provide as well as in potential harms that may result from their implementation. Rigorous assessment of these health impacts is essential for guiding policy decisions as efforts to reduce GHG emissions increase in scope and intensity.

Notes

A version of this report was published in Climatic Change on October 14, 2014; the information in this report has been updated since the time of publication.For reference to the original publication: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1262-5

DOI10.1007/s10584-014-1262-5
Short TitleClimatic Change