Reducing global health risks through mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants

Reducing global health risks through mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants

Interventions to cut SLCPs can reduce disease and death and contribute to food security, improve diets and increase physical activity.

The short lifespan of SLCPs means that once emissions are reduced, benefits begin to occur very soon after actions are taken, making them attractive to policy makers.

WHO rated more than 20 available and affordable measures to mitigate short-lived climate pollutants to see to see which have the greatest potential to improve health, reduce SLCP emissions and prevent climate change.  They include:

  • vehicle emissions standards
  • capturing landfill gas
  • switching from fossil fuels to renewables
  • reducing food waste
  • improving household cooking fuels

The report brings together available knowledge from the health and climate domain into one scoping review, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC).

It builds off a 2011 assessment by the UN Environment Programme and World Meteorological Organization that estimated that a global deployment of 16 SLCP reduction measures would prevent an average of 2.4 million premature deaths annually by 2030.

New estimates could raise that to 3.5 million lives saved annually by 2030, and between 3 to 5 million lives per year by 2050. These latest projections take into account WHO’s latest data on deaths linked to air pollution as well as some new SLCP measures.

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