Switching to zero-emission vehicles and energy could help prevent up to 110,000 deaths in the United States, according to a new report.
the Focus on healthy air A report by the American Lung Foundation claims that a national transition to clean transportation and energy could also generate $1.2 trillion in public health benefits over the next 30 years.
The report outlines the potential benefits if all new cars sold in the United States were zero emissions by 2035 and all new heavy-duty trucks reached the same standard by 2040.
The study’s predictions are also based on the fact that the national electricity grid will also be entirely powered by clean energy sources by 2035.
According to the report, such a transition would mean that 110,000 deaths could be avoided by 2050.
In addition, he estimates that there would be 2.79 million less asthma attacks and 13.4 million fewer workdays lost on the same date.
The report also calculates that the shift to zero-emission transportation and energy in the United States will generate $1.7 trillion in global climate benefits over the next 30 years.
The report adds that today more than four in 10 Americans — more than 135 million people — live in communities that face unhealthy levels of air pollution.
It says the consequences of air pollution include increased asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes.
But he also notes that these health issues are “not shared equitably” with many communities of color and low-income people most at risk, due to their exposure to pollution from tailpipe emissions.
The study also examines the benefits such a transition would have for each state and metropolitan area. It lists Long Beach in Los Angeles, California as the metropolitan area most likely to benefit, followed by Newark in New York and Naperville in Chicago.
It comes a week after a report by IQAir claimed that Los Angeles was the most polluted major city in the United States.
Will Barrett, the American Lung Association’s National Senior Director for Advocacy and Clean Air, said the breadth of health benefits described in the report was “staggering” and it “also underlines to how harmful the transport and energy sectors can be to health today”.
He added that the report also shows that “there are real disparities in terms of who is most affected by unhealthy air in the United States.”
“When we look at numbers and demographics, a person of color in the United States is more than three times more likely to live in a community that receives a failing grade for the pollutants we monitor,” Barrett added.
And he added that while more states are adopting policies to require higher levels of zero-emission cars, more action is needed to ensure that school buses and heavy trucks quickly go to zero emissions.
Barrett said trucks in particular are responsible for such a “disproportionate share of pollution from all vehicles on the road”.
“It’s really amazing when you think of the number of truck trips that go through communities, which have ports or major warehouses. The sooner trucks go zero emissions, the better. »
Moms Clean Air Force is another group in the United States that has championed the health benefits of switching to electric vehicles.
The organization’s director of public health policy, Molly Rauch, said it was important to understand the scope and depth of these benefits, so that “we can get the full picture of what it would mean to really clean the air for all of our communities.”
She added: “It is a public health necessity; to better protect children, people with asthma, the elderly and other vulnerable groups from the health effects of air pollution. That’s why we’re advocating for a rapid transition of our country’s school bus fleet, our passenger vehicles, our heavy-duty trucks, and every vehicle on every road, to run on clean electricity. and without pollution.