Scenarios of demographic distributional aspects of health co-benefits from decarbonising urban transport

Lu, C., Adger, W.N., Morrissey, K., Zhang, S. ORCID:, Venevsky, S., Yin, H., Sun, T., Song, X., et al. (2022). Scenarios of demographic distributional aspects of health co-benefits from decarbonising urban transport. The Lancet Planetary Health 6 (6) e461-e474. 10.1016/S2542-5196(22)00089-4.

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There is limited knowledge on the distribution of the health co-benefits of reduced air pollutants and carbon emissions in the transport sector across populations.

This Article describes a health impact assessment used to estimate the health co-benefits of alternative land passenger transport scenarios for the city of Beijing, China, testing the effect of five transport-based scenarios from 2020 to 2050 on health outcomes. New potential scenarios range from implementing a green transport infrastructure, to scenarios primarily based on the electrification of vehicle fleets and a deep decarbonisation scenario with near zero carbon emissions by 2050. The health co-benefits are disaggregated by age and sex and estimated in monetary terms.

The results show that all the alternative mitigation scenarios result in reduced PM2·5 and CO2 emissions compared to a business-as-usual scenario during 2020–50. The near zero scenario achieves the largest health co-benefits and economic benefits annually relative to the sole mitigation strategy, preventing 300 (95% CI 229–450) deaths, with health co-benefits and CO2 cost-saving an equivalent of 0·01% (0·00–0·03%) of Beijing's Gross domestic product in 2015 by 2050. Given Beijing's ageing population and higher mortality rate, individuals aged 50 years and older experience the greatest benefit from the mitigation scenarios. Regarding sex, the greatest health benefits occur in men.

This assessment provides estimates of the demographic distribution of benefits from the effects of combinations of green transport and decarbonising vehicles in transport futures. The results show that there are substantial positive health outcomes from decarbonising transport in Beijing. Policies aimed at encouraging active travel and use of public transport, increasing the safety of active travel, improving public transport infrastructure, and decarbonising vehicles lead to differential benefits. In addition, disaggregation by age and sex shows that the health impacts related to transport pollution disproportionately influence different age cohorts and genders.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2022 08:25
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 08:25

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