Can Adopting the Paris Accords Save Lives?
Under the Paris climate agreement, 195 countries pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to hold global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. They also promised efforts to limit the temperature increase even further, to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The half-degree difference between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees may not seem like much, but, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, it could mean saving or losing thousands of lives each year in the United States alone.
The researchers wanted to assess the benefits of the Paris Agreement “not in terms of the climate or the temperature, but in terms of how many human lives could be saved or how many heat-related deaths could be avoided by mitigating climate change,” said Eunice Lo, a research associate at the University of Bristol and lead author of the study.
Her research indicates that in New York City alone, more than 2,700 lives are lost during the hottest most extreme summers. People most at risk from heat-related deaths are the very young, the already ill, the elderly and the poor, who have less access to air conditioning.
You can read more about this on the NY Times website here.