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A new study finds that the air quality improvements stemming from currently pledged energy and climate policies can prevent more than 71k premature deaths annually by 2030 and significantly increase agricultural crop yields.
Air pollution has a severe impact on health. Around 90% of city dwellers in Europe, and over 90% of the world's population are exposed to particulate matter levels that are above the World Health Organization's air quality guidelines.This exposure can lead to premature death, birth defects, asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.At the same time, air pollution in the form of ground-level ozone has a negative impact on plant growth and agricultural productivity.
While climate action is primarily aimed at limiting global warming, JRC scientists find that there are also considerable benefits from CO2 mitigation policies to air quality and human health.
The study combines climate, energy, atmospheric chemistry, and economic models to quantify these impacts in line with the climate change mitigation policy proposals put forward in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) pledged in the run-up to the Paris Agreement.
The results have been published in a Nature Communications report, "Air quality co-benefits for human health and agriculture counterbalance costs to meet Paris Agreement pledges".
Source: EU Science Hub website.
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