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MIT News (Jennifer Chu): A new MIT study reports that if China follows through with its international pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, every one of its provinces will experience benefits to air quality and human health, with associated monetary savings that could offset the total cost of implementing the climate policy.
The study, published in Nature Climate Change, estimates that by meeting its greenhouse gas-reduction goals, China would simultaneously improve its air quality, which would avoid a significant number of deaths due to air pollution, across every province. Fewer deaths from air pollution means a benefit for society that can be quantified — a $339 billion savings in 2030 that the researchers estimate could be about four times what it would cost China to meet its climate goals.
In other words, the country’s climate policy would more than pay for itself.