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Study: Four Percent Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Per Year in China = $339 Billion Health Savings

placeholder+imagePosted on: 05/09/2018

A new MIT study affirms as might be expected that if China reduces carbon dioxide emissions, Chinese residents will experience significant benefits to air quality and human health. However, the study additionally reports that the benefit of monetary savings offsets the cost of implementing the climate policy.

Published in Nature Climate Change, the study shows that meeting current greenhouse reduction goals would result in preventing significant deaths due to air pollution across every province.  The health savings from fewer deaths can be quantified at an estimated $339 billion - equalling approximately four times what it would cost China to meet its climate goals.  As summarized by Jennifer Chu of the MIT News Office, "In other words, the country’s climate policy would more than pay for itself."

According to study co-author Noelle Eckley Selin, an associate professor in MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), “The country could actually come out net positive, just based on the health co-benefits associated with air quality improvements, relative to the cost of a climate policy. This is a motivating factor for countries to engage in global climate policy.”

To learn more and view the full MIT press release, visit