CO2 Policies Could Pay Off in Consumer Health Cost Savings

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- The debate has been heating up this past spring and early summer about whether the United States should pass a comprehensive climate law. There will undoubtedly be a stronger push for some kind of legislation this fall, especially as the United Nations recently released yet another report highlighting the current impacts of climate change - including increased floods, droughts and less-secure food crops. Riding on these changes is the wallet of the American consumer, who could stand to reap huge health care savings from more stringent policies.

Many who oppose passing climate policies argue that it could have seriously chaotic implications for the American economy. But a study published inNature Climate Change indicates that the health cost savings of certain climate policies such as a cap-and-trade system would actually outweigh the costs.

Read More: Carbon Tax Gains Steam to Fight Global Warming

When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide and many other chemicals are released into the atmosphere. These substances often interact with each other to form ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter, which contribute to the development of asthma and other respiratory health problems.

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