Health Co-Benefits by State from the Energy Innovation Act
See state-level data for health benefits from reduced pollution following U.S. emissions reductions at a pace consistent with limiting global warming to 2 degrees C, consistent with the Energy Innovation Act’s reductions.
Note: This data is based on a 2016 study. The author gave testimony to Congress in August of 2020 which is used as a data source for the Energy Innovation Act website. However, the peer-review of this specific analysis is currently in progress and is not yet complete. This page will be updated once the updated study is published.
Researchers at Duke University and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies have modeled the health benefits from reduced pollution from reducing U.S. emissions at a pace consistent with limiting global warming to 2 degrees C. Emissions reductions from the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would be consistent with this 2 degree C warming limit and so we can safely use figures from this study as modeling the near-term health benefits from enacting this policy.
Pollution from human activities is estimated to cause 114,000 premature deaths annually in the United States. A significant portion of that pollution would be eliminated as a co-benefit to reducing climate emissions. The researchers estimate that in the United States:
- 295,000 premature deaths could be avoided between 2015 and 2030
- 25,097 premature deaths avoided annually in 2030
- 29,000 fewer asthma attacks in children in 2030
- 15 million lost days of work avoided in 2030
- $331 billion saved from health benefits in 2030
These benefits are seen from emissions reductions only in the US and they do not include any climate or health related benefits due to reduction in CO2 -- only the health benefits from reduction in ozone and particulate matter smaller than 2 microns in diameter (PM2.5). The study says “air quality-related health benefits are realized almost immediately and are primarily domestic, so that the near-term national gains alone are also larger than the implementation costs” and “benefits seem to outweigh costs by at least a factor of 5-10.”
We now have figures for these health benefits broken down to the state level for the contiguous 48 states. Variations in benefits by state are affected both by population density and the modeled local concentrations of ozone and PM2.5. Some states greater benefit because they currently have higher levels of pollution and pollution related health impacts.
These figures may be useful in lobby meetings with members of Congress, when meeting with people in the healthcare industry, and possibly with the general public. CCL is working to design an infographic so we can convey these benefits quickly and effectively and will make that available to volunteers when it is ready.
The full paper is available here: Climate and health impacts of US emissions reductions consistent with 2 C, Drew T. Shindell, Yunha Lee and Greg Faluvegi