- Joint Program Reprint
- Journal Article
Summary: Improved air quality can be a major bonus of climate mitigation policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By cutting air pollution levels in the country where emissions are produced, such policies can avoid significant numbers of premature deaths. But other nations downwind from the host country may also benefit. This study hows that if the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, China, fulfills its climate pledge to peak carbon dioxide emissions in 2030, the positive effects would extend all the way to the United States, where improved air quality would result in nearly 2,000 fewer premature deaths.
The study estimates China’s climate policy air quality and health co-benefits resulting from reduced atmospheric concentrations of ozone, as well as co-benefits from reduced ozone and particulate air pollution (PM2.5) in three downwind and populous countries: South Korea, Japan and the U.S. As ozone and PM2.5 give a well-rounded picture of air quality and can be transported over long distances, accounting for both pollutants enables a more accurate projection of associated health co-benefits in the country of origin and those downwind.