UCLA researchers have outlined a pathway to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in California by 2050. In a study published in Nature Sustainability, they found that these actions could prevent about 14,000 premature deaths from air pollution-related illnesses each year.
While all communities would benefit from a reduction in air pollution, the state’s top 25% most-polluted census tracts would receive disproportionately higher levels of air-quality benefits, the study found.
“It does not need to take a global pandemic to create cleaner air and healthier lives,” said Yifang Zhu, a lead author of the study and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “Climate action directly benefits people at a local and regional scale by creating cleaner air.”
Read more at UCLA Newsroom.
The study was partially funded by Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. Read about related research on the Research Portal.
Can California’s air remain clean post pandemic? Yes, if the state amps up its climate goals, studies say. Capital Radio News, 7 May 2020.
Carbon-neutral California would save 14,000 lives a year, UCLA study says. NBC Los Angeles, 5 May 2020.
Net-zero key to keeping clean air after lockdown, scientists say. Air Quality News, 5 May 2020
UCLA Researchers Chime In On Future Of Post-Pandemic Air Quality Actions In California. CBS Los Angeles, 4 May 2020.
Additional study authors:
Yu Gu, researcher, Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA
Zhe Jiang, researcher, Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Kuo-Nan Liou, researcher, Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA
Nesamani Kalandiyur, manager, California Air Resources Board
Tianyang Wang, UCLA environmental science and engineering doctoral student, ESE intern, California Air Resources Board
Da Zhang, assistant professor at the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University