Reducing Global Health Risks Through Mitigation of Short-lived Climate Pollutants: Scoping Report for Policymakers

World Bank / by Noah Scovronick
http://www.who.int/phe/publications/climate-reducing-health-risks/en/

[From Press Release] A new WHO report highlights the urgent need to reduce emissions of black carbon, ozone and methane – as well as carbon dioxide – which all contribute to climate change. Black carbon, ozone and methane – frequently described as short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – not only produce a strong global warming effect, they contribute significantly to the more than 7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution.

The report…reveals that interventions to cut SLCPs can reduce disease and death and contribute to food security, improve diets and increase physical activity…

Four interventions rated medium to high in all three categories.

  • Reducing vehicle emissions by implementing higher emissions and efficiency standards could reduce black carbon and other co-pollutants from fossil fuels, improve air quality and reduce the disease burden attributable to outdoor air pollution.
  • Policies and investments that prioritize dedicated rapid transit such as buses and trains and foster safe pedestrian and cycle networks can promote multiple benefits, including: safer active travel and reduced health risks from air and noise pollution, physical inactivity, and road traffic injuries.
  • Providing cleaner and more efficient stove and fuel alternatives to the approximately 2.8 billion low-income households worldwide dependent on primarily wood, dung and other solid fuels for heating and cooking, could reduce air pollution-related diseases and reduce the health risks and time invested in fuel-gathering.
  • Encouraging high and middle-income populations to increase their consumption of nutritious plant-based foods could reduce heart disease and some cancers, and slow methane emissions associated with some animal-sourced foods…
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