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Tackling the chronic disease burden: are there co-benefits from climate policy measures?

Désirée Vandenberghe () and Johan Albrecht
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Désirée Vandenberghe: Ghent University

The European Journal of Health Economics, 2018, vol. 19, issue 9, No 6, 1259-1283

Abstract: Abstract Each year, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 40 million people worldwide and impose an estimated economic burden of $600 billion. Without effective policymaking, NCDs will continue to undermine health and economic systems globally. We propose that climate policy measures—such as carbon pricing—can yield significant health-related co-benefits aside from their intended greenhouse gas emission reduction. We simulate three carbon tax scenarios in the energy and food sector in Belgium and assess the resulting health-related co-benefits. These benefits originate from decreased exposure to two leading NCD risk factors: fine particulate matter and dietary regimes excessive in animal products. The carbon tax could prevent 42,300–78,800 Disability-Adjusted Life Years in Belgium, or save 0.6–1.1% of total health care expenditure and an additional 0.06–0.12% of Belgian GDP. We conclude that these health-related co-benefits should be included in the cost–benefit analysis of carbon pricing.

Keywords: Carbon tax; Non-communicable disease; Particulate matter; Diet; Vegetarian; Burden of disease (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 I12 I15 I18 Q51 Q52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s10198-018-0972-4

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