Cut Emissions to Save Lives, If Not the Planet
A new study published in Nature Climate Change, "suggests that the benefits of cuts to air pollution from curbing fossil-fuel use justify action alone – even without other climate impacts such as more extreme weather and sea-level rise," reports Damian Carrington.
A team of researchers led by Jason West, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, "found that 300,000 to 700,000 premature deaths a year would be avoided in 2030, 800,000 to 1.8 million in 2050 and 1.4 million to 3 million in 2100" if "climate change is stabilized by aggressive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions".
"A key finding was that the value of the health benefits delivered by cutting a tonne of CO2 emissions was $50 to $380, greater than the projected cost of cutting carbon in the next few decades," notes Carrington.
"It is pretty striking that you can make an argument purely on health grounds to control climate change," says West.