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India will gain upto 8.4 trillion by meeting 1.5 °C target climate action: WHO

Representational Image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 06, 2018, 09.37 AM (IST)

The value of health gains from climate action would be approximately double the cost of mitigation policies at the global level, and the benefit-to-cost ratio is even higher in countries such as China and India, said a report from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.  

Meeting the targets of the Paris climate agreement would be expected to save over one million lives a year from air pollution alone by 2050, according to the most recent assessment.

The same analysis shows that the value of the health gains would be approximately twice the cost of the policies. The largest gains would be expected in China and India, which would generate even larger net benefits by pursuing the 1.5 °C target rather than the 2.0 °C target ($ 0.27–2.31 trillion in China and $ 3.28–8.4 trillion in India). 

The health gains of meeting the 2.0 °C target would also significantly offset the costs in other regions, such as the European Union (7–84%) and the USA (10–41%) (39), the report said.

A WHO report released on December 5 at COP24 highlighted why health considerations are critical to the advancement of climate action and outlines key recommendations for policymakers.

Exposure to air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated US$ 5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally.

In the 15 countries that emit the most greenhouse gas emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated to cost more than 4% of their GDP. Actions to meet the Paris goals would cost around 1% of global GDP, the report published on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website stated.

Switching to low-carbon energy sources will not only improve air quality but provide additional opportunities for immediate health benefits. For example, introducing active transport options such as cycling will help increase physical activity that can help prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, the report further said.