Air pollution and life expectancy in Europe: Does investment in renewable energy matter?

Rodríguez-Alvarez, Ana
2021 Science of the Total Environment  
This study examines the relationship between health and air pollution using a novel approach that allows differentiation between potential and observed health. It also permits an analysis of those factors that may contribute towards reducing any differences between the latter concepts. To this end, a panel data from 29 European countries for the periods 2005 and 2018 is used. Results indicate that the main pollutants affecting European countries, namely NOx, PM10 and PM2.5 have a negative
more » ... ve a negative impact on life expectancy at birth, while investment in renewable energies has a positive effect. Several conclusions can be drawn from these results. Firstly, if the aim is to minimize the detrimental effects of the global production of goods and services on air quality, a greater investment in renewable energies as compared to other more polluting ones, is called for. In turn, this would contribute to an improvement in the general health of citizens and the planet thereby increasing overall potential life expectancy. Secondly, NOx gases seem to be the ones that most affect the population's mean potential life expectancy. Results indicate that with regard to particulate matters, those with a diameter of less than 2.5 μm, are the ones that have the greatest impact on the health of European citizens, more so than larger particles (with a diameter between 10 and 2.5 μm).
doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148480 pmid:34153769 fatcat:6uz7hvd46zhcjg54ocl7zc5gmy