Carbon dioxide emissions standards for US power plants will influence the fuels and technologies used to generate electricity, alter emissions of pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and influence ambient air quality and public health. We present an analysis of how three alternative scenarios for US power plant carbon standards could change fine particulate matter and ozone concentrations in ambient air, and the resulting public health co-benefits. The results underscore that carbon standards to curb global climate change can also provide immediate local and regional health co-benefits, but the magnitude depends on the design of the standards. A stringent but flexible policy that counts demand-side energy efficiency towards compliance yields the greatest health benefits of the three scenarios analysed.
Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow
Common Resources — May 4, 2015
Significant, Widespread Health Benefits Possible under EPA’s Clean Power Plan
Politics is typically about the here and now. And so shaping policy to address climate change poses a particularly difficult challenge.
Media Highlight — Jun 25, 2020
"Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere"
Maureen Cropper quoted in New York Times article on air pollution and the coronavirus
Resources Articles — Jun 15, 2020
Looking Back at 50 Years of the Clean Air Act of 1970
A major retrospective analysis of the Clean Air Act reveals its many public health benefits, along with its associated costs.