A new study has found that, due to our current lifestyles, every three Americans produce enough carbon emissions to kill one person.
The first analysis to calculate the death toll from carbon dioxide found that every 4,434 metric tons of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere beyond 2020 levels causes one extra death globally beyond what was expected in previous models.
The study, conducted by Columbia University doctoral candidate R. Daniel Bressler, built on research into the “social cost of carbon,” the dollar price of future harm inflicted by the release of an additional ton of carbon dioxide, and assigned an expected death toll to the emissions.
According to the research, a further 4 million metric tons emitted above last year’s level would lead to an additional 904 lives lost worldwide by the end of the century.
Conversely, eliminated planet heating emission would save 74 million lives around the world this century.
“There are a significant number of lives that can be saved if you pursue climate policies that are more aggressive than the business-as-usual scenario,” Bressler told The Guardian. “I was surprised at how large the number of deaths are. There is some uncertainty over this. The number could be lower but it could also be a lot higher.”
Read more about the research at The Guardian.