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Jointly addressing air pollution and climate change to reduce health-economic impacts

Jointly addressing air pollution and climate change to reduce health-economic impacts

Accounting for air pollution impacts reduces climate mitigation costs without increasing inequality and increases global and regional welfare. A comprehensive integrated assessment modeling framework capturing the most critical interactions between air pollution, climate mitigation and the economy, in the study led by RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE) just published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

Climate change and air pollution are two major societal problems. Air pollution is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide and crop loss every year. Both climate change and air pollution share a common origin—fuel burning—and a common solution—a clean and fair energy transition. But which policy and technological interventions should be put in place, and when? Their complex interplay calls for an advanced evaluation framework that can support decision making. Previous assessments have looked at the co-benefits of climate policies for air pollution, but few have optimized air pollution benefits.

The study lays out a modeling framework that internalizes the economic impacts of air pollution on human mortality, while considering climate constraints and aerosol feedback. Results show how welfare-maximizing strategies accounting for air pollution benefits generate considerable health benefits, avoiding 1.62 million of annual premature deaths by mid-century, a figure that is three times greater than the co-benefits of climate policies.

"This study develops and implements a benefit-cost, integrated air quality-climate modeling framework," explains Lara Aleluia Reis, researcher at RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE) and lead author of the study.




Accounting for air pollution impacts reduces climate mitigation costs without increasing inequality and increases global and regional welfare. A comprehensive integrated assessment modeling framework capturing the most critical interactions between air pollution, climate mitigation and the economy,....
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