IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 3022: Health Effects of Energy Intensive Sectors and the Potential Health Co-Benefits of a Low Carbon Industrial Transition in China (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: The issues of environmental pollution and its effects on health have become increasingly serious in China. Energy intensive sectors are not only the main energy consumers, but also the main sources of air pollution. Analyzing the health effects of energy intensive sectors and the potential health co-benefits of a low carbon industrial transition is of great importance for promoting China’s air pollution control. Methods: This study used the exposure-response (ER) relationship model and inhalation factor methods to quantitatively analyze the health effects of air pollution and forecast the potential health co-benefits in the power and steel sectors. Results: The results showed that in 2016 SO2 and PM2.5 emissions caused about 850,000 premature deaths, and 10 million cases of respiratory diseases and chest discomfort, resulting in health-related economic losses of 1.2 trillion Yuan, accounting for 1.6% of the GDP. Meanwhile, demand control in consumption could significantly reduce SO2 emissions in the power and steel sectors, thus offering significant health co-benefits. However, there was still some uncertainty regarding the reduction of PM2.5 emissions in the steel sector. Conclusions: There is a need to take advantage of the health co-benefits of emission reduction in energy intensive sectors and to adopt flexible means to stimulate their green transformation.