Air pollution: the benefits of clean power far outweigh the costs

Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard

Nearly all U.S. regions stand to gain economic benefits from power plant carbon standards that set moderately stringent emission targets and allow a high level of compliance flexibility.

Most U.S. counties could gain $1m in annual health benefits from a power plant carbon standard, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Press Release June 7, 2016.

Researchers reports large national net benefits of approximately $33 billion per year for the power plant carbon standard in the study, based on estimated costs of $17 billion per year and projected benefits of $29 billion for a subset of health co-benefits, and $21 billion for climate benefits.

Abstract

An Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard, PLOS one, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156308, June 7, 2016.

Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants can have important “co-benefits” for public health by reducing emissions of air pollutants.

Here, we examine the costs and health co-benefits, in monetary terms, for a policy that resembles the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. We then examine the spatial distribution of the co-benefits and costs, and the implications of a range of cost assumptions in the implementation year of 2020.

Nationwide, the total health co-benefits were $29 billion 2010 USD (95% CI: $2.3 to $68 billion), and net co-benefits under our central cost case were $12 billion (95% CI: -$15 billion to $51 billion). Net co-benefits for this case in the implementation year were positive in 10 of the 14 regions studied. The results for our central case suggest that all but one region should experience positive net benefits within 5 years after implementation.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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