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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Mobility

1
Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change, University of Graz, Brandhofgasse 5, A-8010 Graz, Austria
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Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt, Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070 Vienna, Austria
3
Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070 Vienna, Austria
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Department of Economics, University of Graz, Universitaetsstrasse 15, A-8010 Graz, Austria
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Department of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 23, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
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Austrian Public Health Institute (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH), Stubenring 6, A-1010 Vienna, Austria
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Institute of Internal Combustion Engines and Thermodynamics, Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 19, A-8010 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050880
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
There is growing recognition that implementation of low-carbon policies in urban passenger transport has near-term health co-benefits through increased physical activity and improved air quality. Nevertheless, co-benefits and related cost reductions are often not taken into account in decision processes, likely because they are not easy to capture. In an interdisciplinary multi-model approach we address this gap, investigating the co-benefits resulting from increased physical activity and improved air quality due to climate mitigation policies for three urban areas. Additionally we take a (macro-)economic perspective, since that is the ultimate interest of policy-makers. Methodologically, we link a transport modelling tool, a transport emission model, an emission dispersion model, a health model and a macroeconomic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to analyze three climate change mitigation scenarios. We show that higher levels of physical exercise and reduced exposure to pollutants due to mitigation measures substantially decrease morbidity and mortality. Expenditures are mainly born by the public sector but are mostly offset by the emerging co-benefits. Our macroeconomic results indicate a strong positive welfare effect, yet with slightly negative GDP and employment effects. We conclude that considering economic co-benefits of climate change mitigation policies in urban mobility can be put forward as a forceful argument for policy makers to take action. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban mobility; health co-benefits; physical activity; air pollution; climate change mitigation; interdisciplinary approach urban mobility; health co-benefits; physical activity; air pollution; climate change mitigation; interdisciplinary approach
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Wolkinger, B.; Haas, W.; Bachner, G.; Weisz, U.; Steininger, K.W.; Hutter, H.-P.; Delcour, J.; Griebler, R.; Mittelbach, B.; Maier, P.; Reifeltshammer, R. Evaluating Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Mobility. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 880.

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