MIT study shows that China’s climate policy could "more than pay for itself"

April 23, 2018 by  
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Is China turning the tide on pollution ? The country stands to benefit not just environmentally, but financially as well. A new MIT study found if China reduces carbon dioxide emissions by four percent a year, the nation could net around $339 billion in health savings by the year 2030. That figure could be around four times what it would cost the country to achieve climate goals – in other words, according to MIT, “the country’s climate policy would more than pay for itself.” Fulfilling its international pledge to cut carbon emissions makes sense for China in many ways. Not only could the nation contribute significantly to the global battle against climate change (as it’s the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases) – but the health impacts for Chinese citizens could be huge. Improving air quality could avoid a considerable amount of deaths from air pollution in every province — and MIT put a dollar figure on the benefit to society: $339 billion. Related: China reports meeting its 2020 carbon intensity goals three years early MIT associate professor Noelle Eckley Selin co-authored the study published today in Nature Climate Change . In a statement, she said: “The country could actually come out net positive, just based on the health co-benefits associated with air quality improvements, relative to the cost of a climate policy. This is a motivating factor for countries to engage in global climate policy.” How did the team reach their figure? They developed a modeling approach called the Regional Emissions Air Quality Climate and Health framework, combining an energy -economic model and atmospheric chemistry model. They used the energy-economic model “to simulate how a given climate policy changes a province’s economic activity, energy use, and emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollutants.” They ran simulations under four scenarios: one with no policy and three with policies aiming to cut emissions through 2030 by three, four, and five percent a year. They then plugged in results into the atmospheric chemistry model and estimated particulate matter concentrations for provinces to help calculate the pollution communities are inhaling. Epidemiological literature helped them figure out how many deaths could be avoided. They calculated the economic value of the deaths, which they compared against the total cost of implementing a policy scenario. Their findings? In a no-policy scenario, by 2030 there would be over 2.3 million premature, pollution-related deaths. In the three, four, or five percent emissions reductions scenarios, China could respectively avoid 36,000, 94,000, and 160,000 premature deaths. The savings “gained as a result of health co-benefits equals $138.4 billion, $339.6 billion, and $534.8 billion, respectively,” according to MIT. + MIT Images via Diego Jimenez , Frak Lopez , and Manon Boyer on Unsplash

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MIT study shows that China’s climate policy could "more than pay for itself"

Forests as a climate solution? Yes, naturally

April 17, 2018 by  
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Sponsored: Forests clean air and water, provide economic well-being, support biodiversity, provide forest products that people depend on — and serve as the world’s oldest carbon storage technology. That’s worth talking about.

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Forests as a climate solution? Yes, naturally

North American climate boundary pushed 140 miles eastward by climate change

April 16, 2018 by  
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A historic climate boundary which marks the division between the humid eastern region of North America and the more arid western region has deviated 140 miles to the east of its original location — thanks to climate change . In a study recently published in  Earth Interactions ,  scientists identified three factors that contribute to the formation of the visible division between North American climatic zones: the Rocky Mountains’ ability to disrupt moisture from reaching inland, Atlantic winter storms and summertime humidity that rises northeast from the Gulf of Mexico. In the recent study, lead author and climate scientist Richard Seager of Columbia University sought to explore the boundary — and its history — as a prominent example of “ psychogeography ,” or the relationship between environmental conditions and human decision making. The climate boundary line that runs along the 100th meridian west was first marked in the late 19th century by  geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell. “Powell talked eloquently about the 100th meridian, and this concept of a boundary line has stayed with us down to the current day,” Seager said in a statement . “We wanted to ask whether there really is such a divide, and whether it’s influenced human settlement.” Related: The Gulf Stream is the weakest it’s been in 1,600 years – here’s why that’s really bad news The 100th meridian climate boundary has affected historic development in the United States. Eastern lands have greater population density and infrastructure, and agriculture is dominated by corn , a moisture-loving plant. To the west of the divide, agriculture is dependent on larger farms with crops — such as wheat  — that flourish in arid regions, and urban development is generally more scarce. As climate change affects the historic rainfall and temperature trends of the region, the study predicts that human development will also adapt, with eastern farms adopting characteristics of those historically found west of the boundary line. “Unless farmers turn to irrigation or otherwise adapt, they will have to turn from corn to wheat or some other more suitable crop,” said Columbia University in a statement . “Large expanses of cropland may fail altogether, and have to be converted to western-style grazing range. Water supplies could become a problem for urban areas.” Via Yale Environment 360 Images via  Seager Et Al. and Depositphotos

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North American climate boundary pushed 140 miles eastward by climate change

Why natural gas makes global warming worse

April 9, 2018 by  
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Hint: it has to do with methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times as potent as carbon dioxide.

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Why natural gas makes global warming worse

Why do automakers support climate rollbacks?

April 4, 2018 by  
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Ford, GM and Toyota have been touting their climate concern. Is it hype or hypocrisy?

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Why do automakers support climate rollbacks?

Why and how to work with your design team

April 4, 2018 by  
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You’ll find inspiration from woodworking.

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Why and how to work with your design team

Climate change is threatening the garment industry

March 27, 2018 by  
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Extreme weather in India is harming worker health and posing risks to women’s rights.

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Climate change is threatening the garment industry

Meet the company that singlehandedly halved one country’s CO2 emissions

March 27, 2018 by  
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Something is right in the state of Denmark.

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Meet the company that singlehandedly halved one country’s CO2 emissions

Did Project Drawdown miss a crucial climate solution?

March 23, 2018 by  
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Sustainable investing may be a better way to tackle climate change than switching to renewable energy.

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Did Project Drawdown miss a crucial climate solution?

3 problems that water abundance brings to coastal communities

March 23, 2018 by  
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And two things are missing in the face of rising seas and warmer oceans.

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3 problems that water abundance brings to coastal communities

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