Effects of global climate mitigation on regional air quality and health

Xinyuan Huang, Vivek Srikrishnan, Jonathan Lamontagne, Klaus Keller, Wei Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Climate mitigation can bring air quality and health co-benefits. How these health impacts might be distributed across countries remains unclear. Here we use a coupled climate–energy–health model to assess the country-varying health effects of a global carbon price across nearly 30,000 future states of the world (SOWs). As a carbon price lowers fossil fuel use, our analysis suggests consistent reductions in ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels and associated mortality risks in countries that currently suffer most from air pollution. For a few less-polluted countries, however, a carbon price can increase the mortality risks under some of the considered SOWs due to emissions increases from bioenergy use and land-use changes. These potential health co-harms are largely driven in our model by the scale and method of deforestation. A robust and quantitative understanding of these distributional outcomes requires improved representations of relevant deep uncertainties, country-specific characteristics and cross-sector interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1054-1066
Number of pages13
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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