BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 25 (UPI) — Reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will have direct health benefits especially in low-income countries, U.S. researchers said.
In a series of studies, Kirk R. Smith, professor of global environmental health, and Michael Jerrett, associate professor of environmental health sciences, both of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues used case studies to demonstrate the co-benefits of tackling climate change in four sectors — electricity generation, household energy use, transportation and food and agriculture.
“Policymakers need to know that if they exert their efforts in certain directions, they can obtain important public health benefits as well as climate benefits,” Smith said in a statement.
Combustion-related air pollution is estimated to be responsible for nearly 2.5 million premature deaths annually around the world and also for a significant portion of greenhouse warming.
One case study, led by Smith, said the 150-million-stove program in India from 2010-2020 could prevent 2 million premature deaths in India in addition to reducing greenhouse pollution.
A paper co-authored by Jerrett contains analysis of 18 years of data on of black carbon that tracked 352,000 people in 66 U.S. cities. Black carbon is a short-lived greenhouse pollutant, but exert significant direct impacts on health.
The case studies are published in the journal The Lancet.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International