U.S. Could Avert Approx. 32,000 Deaths if Net-Zero Is Achieved by 2050
According to the report, the country could save $1.3 trillion or more in damages and over $360 billion in health care costs by 2050.
An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 32,000 deaths could be averted and over $1 trillion could be saved if the U.S. achieves net-zero emissions by 2050. Reducing carbon emissions will minimize pollution that causes respiratory illness and alleviate weather disasters.
Though achieving this policy will be challenging, ‘fewer emergency room visits, fewer asthma attacks and public health impacts that result from toxic air pollutants’ will offset the cost ‘to invest in clean energies,’ said Steve Clemmer, one of the paper’s authors.
According to the report, the country could save $1.3 trillion or more in damages and over $360 billion in health care costs by 2050. The benefits put forth in the report are a conservative estimate; the model only accounts for deaths caused by air pollution, not those from rising temperatures, storms, and wildfires.
So far, the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act has sped up the pace of emissions curtailment, but it’s still not enough to halve them by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050.
‘2030 is not very far away,’ Clemmer said.