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Health Effects of Energy Intensive Sectors and the Potential Health Co-Benefits of a Low Carbon Industrial Transition in China

by Tingru Yang 1,2 and Wenling Liu 1,2,3,4,*
1
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
2
School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
3
Sustainable Development Research Institute for Economy and Society of Beijing, Beijing 100081, China
4
Beijing Key Lab of Energy Economics and Environmental Management, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3022; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173022
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 21 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
Background: The issues of environmental pollution and its effects on health have become increasingly serious in China. Energy intensive sectors are not only the main energy consumers, but also the main sources of air pollution. Analyzing the health effects of energy intensive sectors and the potential health co-benefits of a low carbon industrial transition is of great importance for promoting China’s air pollution control. Methods: This study used the exposure-response (ER) relationship model and inhalation factor methods to quantitatively analyze the health effects of air pollution and forecast the potential health co-benefits in the power and steel sectors. Results: The results showed that in 2016 SO2 and PM2.5 emissions caused about 850,000 premature deaths, and 10 million cases of respiratory diseases and chest discomfort, resulting in health-related economic losses of 1.2 trillion Yuan, accounting for 1.6% of the GDP. Meanwhile, demand control in consumption could significantly reduce SO2 emissions in the power and steel sectors, thus offering significant health co-benefits. However, there was still some uncertainty regarding the reduction of PM2.5 emissions in the steel sector. Conclusions: There is a need to take advantage of the health co-benefits of emission reduction in energy intensive sectors and to adopt flexible means to stimulate their green transformation. View Full-Text
Keywords: health effect; health economic loss; co-benefit; exposure-response relationship; energy intensive sectors health effect; health economic loss; co-benefit; exposure-response relationship; energy intensive sectors
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Yang, T.; Liu, W. Health Effects of Energy Intensive Sectors and the Potential Health Co-Benefits of a Low Carbon Industrial Transition in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3022.

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