The macro-economic effects of health co-benefits associated with climate change mitigation strategies

Smith, RD; Keogh-Brown, MR; Jensen, HT; Chalabi, Z; Dangour, AD; Davies, M; Edwards, P; Garnett, T; Givoni, M; Griffiths, UK; Hamilton, I; Jarrett, J; Roberts, I; Wilkinson, P; Woodcock, J; Haines, A; (2013) The macro-economic effects of health co-benefits associated with climate change mitigation strategies. (Unpublished)

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The UK government has specific targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction to lower the risk of dangerous climate change. Strategies to reduce GHG emissions are sometimes perceived as expensive and difficult to implement but previous work has demonstrated significant potential health co-benefits from ‘Active Travel and low carbon driving’, ‘Housing Insulation/Ventilation’, and ‘Healthy Diet’ scenarios which may be attractive to policymakers. Here a Computable General Equilibrium model is used to assess the financial effects of such health co-benefits on the wider economy including changes in labour force, social security payments and healthcare costs averted. Results suggest that for all scenarios the financial impacts of the health co-benefits will be positive and increased active travel in particular is likely to make a substantial contribution, largely due to health care costs averted. Strategies to reduce GHG emissions and improve health are likely to result in substantial and increasing positive contributions to the economy which may offset some potential economic costs and thereby be seen more favourably in times of economic austerity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: macroeconomic modelling, climate, mitigation, health, co-benefits, CGE, UK
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Funders: Department of Health Policy Research Programme


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