Greenhouse gas emissions reduction in different economic sectors: Mitigation measures, health co-benefits, knowledge gaps, and policy implications
To date, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mitigation strategies and the accompanying health co-benefits in different economic sectors have not been fully investigated. The purpose of this paper is to review comprehensively the evidence on GHG mitigation measures and the related health co-benefits, identify knowledge gaps, and provide recommendations to promote further development and implementation of climate change response policies. Evidence on GHG emissions, abatement measures and related health co-benefits has been observed at regional, national and global levels, involving both low- and high-income societies. GHG mitigation actions have mainly been taken in five sectors: energy generation, transport, food and agriculture, household and industry, consistent with the main sources of GHG emissions. GHGs and air pollutants to a large extent stem from the same sources and are inseparable in terms of their atmospheric evolution and effects on ecosystem; thus, GHG reductions are usually, although not always, estimated to have cost effective co-benefits for public health. Some integrated mitigation strategies involving multiple sectors, which tend to create greater health benefits. The pros and cons of different mitigation measures, issues with existing knowledge, priorities for research, and potential policy implications were also discussed. Findings from this study can play a role not only in motivating large GHG emitters to make decisive changes in GHG emissions, but also in facilitating cooperation at international, national and regional levels, to promote GHG mitigation policies that protect public health from climate change and air pollution simultaneously.