Climate Change – effect on health of reducing carbon-based power generation.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Report shows that moderate carbon dioxide reductions (10-20%) in the next 10-20 years also reduces sulphur oxide emissions by 10 – 20%, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter by 5 – 10%. This reduction is likely to result in a few thousand fewer premature deaths in Europe, North America and Korea and tens of thousands fewer in Asian and Latin American countries. If the effects of the reduction in air pollution on mortality caused by chronic diseases are added, the size of the benefits is greatly increased.

Per tonne of CO2 reduced, the health effects in monetary terms are between $2 and $38 for OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. For developing countries, the values are monetary savings are between $20 and $133 per tonne.

With a reduction of 57% compared to business as usual, an OECD study claims that 500,000 lives will be saved by 2030 which is the highest estimate but that includes other effects.

For the EU, 5000 lives will be saved by 2020. 23,000 lives saved by 2030 calculated by European Environment Agency if targets are met. Health benefits are low at $2 per tonne. That is for power stations alone and adding in more sectors moves the calculations of health benefits to $11 to $37 per tonne.