Health Benefits of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
- New York needed to estimate the health benefits of meeting their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
- Abt modeled how changes in energy consumption to meet those targets will improve air quality and provide public health benefits.
- We estimated meeting those targets could avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths and provide up to $170 billion in health benefits.
New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) calls for the state to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Reducing GHG emissions will also reduce other harmful air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
New York needed to understand the potential size of those health benefits, which include avoided hospitalizations, emergency department visits, work loss days, and even premature deaths.
Abt used our Climate HealthCounts™ framework to quantify and monetize the air quality and public health benefits of achieving the GHG emission reduction targets in New York. This approach involved estimating how changes in energy consumption result in reduced emissions of air pollutants, including PM2.5, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds. We then modeled how the subsequent changes in emissions would impact air quality, and the resulting health effects. Finally, we estimated the monetary value of these health benefits.
We also modeled other health benefits from the CLCPA, including the benefits of increased active transportation (i.e., walking and biking) and the indoor health benefits from residential energy efficiency programs.
Abt estimates that the monetized health benefits from the CLCPA could be up to $170 billion, including preventing tens of thousands of premature deaths between 2020 and 2050. These monetized health benefits helped New York demonstrate that the benefits of the CLCPA would exceed the costs of implementing the law. Because of this, the plan was approved for implementation by New York’s Climate Action Council.