Samir KC and Guillaume Marois: Health impacts of fine particles under climate change mitigation, air quality control, and demographic change in India
As the co-authors, ADRI’s professor Samir KC and associate professor Guillaume Marois recently published a new paper in Environmental Research Letters entitled with “Health impacts of fine particles under climate change mitigation, air quality control, and demographic change in India”.
Despite low per capita emissions, with over a billion population, India is pivotal for climate change mitigation globally, ranking as the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. We linked a previously published multidimensional population projection with emission projections from an integrated assessment model to quantify the localised (i.e. state-level) health benefits from reduced ambient fine particulate matter in India under global climate change mitigation scenarios in line with the Paris Agreement targets and national scenarios for maximum feasible air quality control. We incorporated assumptions about future demographic, urbanisation and epidemiological trends and accounted for model feedbacks. Our results indicate that compared to a business-as-usual scenario, pursuit of aspirational climate change mitigation targets can avert up to 8.0 million premature deaths and add up to 0.7 years to life expectancy (LE) at birth due to cleaner air by 2050. Combining aggressive climate change mitigation efforts with maximum feasible air quality control can add 1.6 years to life expectancy. Holding demographic change constant, we find that climate change mitigation and air quality control will contribute slightly more to increases in LE in urban areas than in rural areas and in states with lower socio-economic development.