Check to show how the air pollution is & # 39; life expectancy reduction


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Tiananmen Square, Beijing (Image: James Riker)

How long can you expect to live if you put in clean airs? If you are in the north east of China then there may be three years or more, according to the Air Life Insurance Register (AQLI), which was launched last year in Beijing with The Chicago Energy Policy Institute (EPIC).

Unlike the renowned Air Quality Rating, which is shows how good or bad the quality of the air is in a certain place, the AQLI is a & # 39; Demonstrates the exposed cost of respiratory on life expectancy.

Search a home for her home on her & # 39; AQLI map and you can see the maximum residences of living expectants if PM2 level reach a World Health Organization's safe target of 10 micrams per cubic meter of air.

The website has been developed to give the public and policy makers a more detailed understanding of how important it is to reduce air pollution.

But some of the academics say that it would not be appropriate to establish environmental policies too strongly on the link between PM2.5 and life expectancy. If policies do not include differences in wealth between sectors, and between urban and rural areas, poorer numbers can see longevity; fall further.

Real cost PM2.5

The AQLI is based on two investigations of 0.98 years of life expectancy for each increase of 10 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meters.

The index demonstrates the success of China's success in & # 39; reducing air pollution from 2013. The 12% falling in PM2.5 fall between 2013 and 2016; means that people in China can expect to live six months longer. The EPIC director, Michael Greenstone, proclaimed this great success and has never been seen.

Statistics show Tianjin abandoned one of the three most populous cities in China in 2013, a fall of 14% in PM2.5 by 2016. If that development is The 13-year-long residency of the city's residential prospects increased by 1.2 years. Henan saw even more development over the same period, falling in PM2.5 levels of 20%, equivalent to 1.3 years of extra life. Inspectors found that PM2.5 levels meet the World Health Organization's target, normal life expectancy increased by 2.9 years.

"It's always saying that people are getting involved in air pollution too expensive, and that policymakers and the public want to see better before they make more turns. AQLI is a & # 39 ; using the most important step – life expectancy – to show exactly how important it is to deal with air pollution, "said Greenstone.

Is there any useful indexes?

However, Jennifer Holdaway, co-director of the Health, Environment and Development Forum (FORHEAD) said: "as an interdisciplinary researcher, I do not think that AQLI is offering a lot of new. "

She said that seven years ago, before the government made a strong action on air pollution, many papers were published to show the link between the quality of the air and health. Now, all governments now have access to environmental protection and almost everyone is aware of PM2.5 health risks. So, there is little value in working out new figures extremely. What is needed in policy making is a & n; Think about how you will achieve the highest health benefit for your smallest social cost, including better dealing with the needs of vulnerable numbers.

According to a summary report from the FORHEAD team, life expectancy in China is still closely related to wealth. In the richest towns such as Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing, life expectancy is higher than in the US or South Korea. At the same time, the most deprived areas are expected, largely in the western part of China, compared to the countries in southern Asia.

China's richest parts have reached an income threshold where the effects of pollution control tend to increase the health and public benefits of an increased increase in income. But in poorer regions in China, it is still susceptible to economic growth to bring the greatest benefits to health.

Holdaway said that it is essential to ensure that the cost of improving air quality in those areas of economically weakness does not cost adverse effects on other causes that can be achieved; moorland, such as sustainable employment or public healthcare investment. If there is a competitive environmental protection for facilities with other public services, money must be transferred between departments to balance this deficit.

China needs to maintain rapid economic growth and improve health by controlling pollution.

In an interview with chinadialogue, Michael Greenstone said that there is no easy option at the end. The ultimate policy lies in the hands of local government. "I suggest that there is a more open view, and allows local governments with a full understanding of the situation to be tried, to balance even more suited to truth, "he said.

Who pays for blue scales?

Jiang Kejuan, a researcher at the National Energy Development and Development Institute, agrees with Jennifer Holdaway that special attention must be paid to fairness in dealing with air pollution.

Since 2016 air conditioning has been drifted in northern China to move home heating from coal to natural gas or electricity. Jiang's research has found that good progress has been made, but in some cases it will take time for the high costs to be included.

Favorite Places ( chinadialogue Stronger environmental policies often reach the cost of future opportunities for poorer communities. For example, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area pollution businesses – steel makers and creams – are also the largest employers. Reduced yields or closure factories which require a lot of staff to be discharged. During translating, new high tech or service jobs can be created, but the knowledge or staff that are discharged to take advantage.

"Historically, we see similar events with Germany, the US and the UK as they have been developed, with more inequality and loss of work being delivered affecting all families and future generations, "said Holdaway.

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