Despite the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord on climate change, the United States will benefit from international efforts to slow the global environmental threat, researchers say.
Improvements in air quality and health are likely as a result of domestic and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study led by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“Our results show that the U.S. can gain significantly greater co-benefits for air quality and human health, especially for ozone, by working together with other countries to combat global climate change,” co-lead author Yuqiang Zhang said.
The researchers compared how aggressive worldwide action or no action to reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions would impact air quality and public health in the United States by 2050.
The investigators concluded that worldwide action to reduce greenhouse gases would lead to 16,000 fewer U.S. deaths from fine particulate air pollution in 2050. In addition, 8,000 fewer people would die per year because of ozone air pollution.
The study was published online Nov. 14 in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
“Previous studies that estimated the health benefits of greenhouse gas reductions typically focused locally or nationally, and therefore missed the benefits from foreign reductions,” Zhang said in a journal news release.
The World Health Organization has more on climate change.