Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What are the Public Health Considerations when Mitigating Climate Change in Cities?

Building-related health impacts in European and Chinese cities: a scalable assessment method (13 page pdf, Jouni T. Tuomisto, Marjo Niittynen, Erkki Pärjälä, Arja Asikainen, Laura Perez, Stephan Trüeb, Matti Jantunen, Nino Künzli and Clive E. Sabel , Environmental Health, Dec. 14, 2015)

Today we review an assessment of the impact of various climate mitigation changes on health, an aspect not often considered in trying to achieve the main objective of reduced carbon emissions by reducing energy requirements for buildings for example.. In the European cities examined the health benefits were minimal (but positive) largely because the existing power sources were already clean. Care needs to be taken when reducing heating needs by adding insulation which may cause a worsening of indoor air quality. The advantages of having such a model are clear as more cities undertake mitigation by redesigning buildings.

 building and health  

Key Quotes:

“Active climate mitigation policies will also, aside of their long term global impacts, have short term local impacts, both positive and negative, on public health.”

“Our main objective was to develop a generic open impact model to estimate health impacts of emissions due to heat and power consumption of buildings.”

“The assessed policies were replacement of peat with wood chips in co-generation of district heat and power, and improved energy efficiency of buildings achieved by renovations”

“Kuopio has a climate objective to reduce GHG emissions by 40 % between 1990 and 2020. This is a major challenge but it seems to be achievable if large fuel changes from peat to wood-based fuels are done in the district heating.”

“levels of indoor pollutants are affected by ventilation and there is a risk that energy savings by decreasing ventilation may cause higher exposures and increase harmful health effects.”

 “The main study areas included heat and power generation, traffic, buildings and their effect on health and well-being.”

“The assessed local public health benefits of the fuel change and energy conservation – buildings renovation – policies, compared to the BAU, are 9 disability-adjusted life years (DALY) per year in Kuopio and 15 DALY/year in Basel in 2030”

“Stuttgart demonstrated that small scale wood pellet combustion for residential heating generates only 1 % of the required heat, but from 2010 to 2025 the burden of disease could be decreased via its banning in the city centre by 15 DALY/year or be increased by its current growing trend by 200 DALY/year.”

“In the assessed cases, all considered decision options had minimal health impacts of PM2 emissions as the current district heating systems are already clean.”

No comments:

Post a Comment