To your health!

A new report from two nonprofits in the health sector puts hard cold numbers on the benefits of cutting GHG emissions. As reported on NYT’s Green blog, the study found that decreases in GHG gasses went hand-in-hand with decreases in other pollutants that cause respiratory and other illnesses. Combined with fewer illnesses related to heat waves, floods and famine, reduced GHG gasses could also mean reduced health care costs. How much exactly? The report forecasts savings of up to €30.5 billion ($38.7 billion) per year in the European Union by 2020. That is, if the EU steps up its current 20% reduction target in GHG emissions by 2020 — from 1990 levels — to 30%.

Photo by nImAdestiny. Some rights reserved.

Will the EU bite? Will the U.S. follow suit?

While Hershey’s is on board — their recent and first ever corporate social responsibility report states plans to cut GHG emissions from U.S. plants by 15 percent by year-end 2011, compared to 2008 — others are dragging their heels. According to The Hill, two dozen groups — including the American Petroleum Institute, the National Mining Association and the National Association of Manufacturers — are urging the House and Senate appropriators to postpone by two or three years rules to limit GHG emissions from power plants and other large stationary sources. These groups claim that the rules, which are slated to take effect beginning early next year, will harm the economy and block job creation.

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