Outlook for clean air in the context of sustainable development goals

Rafaj, P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1000-5617, Kiesewetter, G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9369-9812, Gül, T., Schöpp, W. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5990-423X, Cofala, J., Klimont, Z. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2630-198X, Purohit, P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7265-6960, Heyes, C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5254-493X, et al. (2018). Outlook for clean air in the context of sustainable development goals. Global Environmental Change 53 1-11. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.08.008.

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Air pollution is linked with many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Strategies aiming at the improved air quality interact directly with climate mitigation targets, access to clean energy services, waste management, and other aspects of socio-economic development. Continuation of current policies in the key emitting sectors implies that a number of sustainability goals will likely not be met within the next two decades: emissions of air pollutants would cause 40% more premature deaths from outdoor air pollution than today, carbon emissions would rise globally by 0.4% per year, while nearly two billion people would not have access to clean cooking. This paper examines integrated policies to put the world on track towards three interlinked goals of achieving universal energy access, limiting climate change and reducing air pollution. Scenario analysis suggests that these goals can be attained simultaneously with substantial benefits. By 2040, emissions of main pollutants are projected to drop by 60–80% relative to today, and associated health impacts are quantified at two million avoided deaths from ambient and household air pollution combined. In comparison to costs needed for the decarbonization of global economy, additional investments in air pollution control and access to clean fuels are very modest against major societal gains. However, holistic and systemic policy assessment is required to avoid potential trade-offs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainable development; Air quality policy; Energy access; Health impacts; Emission control
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2018 06:22
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:30
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15454

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