Environmental lobbyists are urging further spending on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, saying it could be worth thirty billion euros in health-care savings every year. That could be possible, they say, if Europe increased the CO2 cuts to 30 percent, from 20 percent, which is the present commitment, with 2020 as the target deadline.
The campaign group Health and Environment Alliance said the health savings would come in the form of less time taken off work for illness, fewer hospital admissions and lower consumption of medicines.
The improvement in air quality with a reduction of emissions would pay direct dividends in people’s well-being, the researchers said. The Alliance would like its findings to be taken into account ahead of the international climate change conference in Cancun in December. It hopes Europe will move immediately and unilaterally to a 30 percent reduction target before then.