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Title: Co-benefits of mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions for future air quality and human health

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions also influences air quality. We simulate the co-benefits of global GHG reductions on air quality and human health via two mechanisms: a) reducing co-emitted air pollutants, and b) slowing climate change and its effect on air quality. Relative to a reference scenario, global GHG mitigation in the RCP4.5 scenario avoids 0.5±0.2, 1.3±0.6, and 2.2±1.6 million premature deaths in 2030, 2050, and 2100, from changes in fine particulate matter and ozone. Global average marginal co-benefits of avoided mortality are $40-400 (ton CO2)-1, exceeding marginal abatement costs in 2030 and 2050, and within the low range of costs in 2100. East Asian co-benefits are 10-80 times the marginal cost in 2030. These results indicate that transitioning to a low-carbon future might be justified by air quality and health co-benefits.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature Climate Change, 3(10):885-889
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States