World Health Organization; Noah Scovronick
Books and Studies
Reducing global health risks through mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants

Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including black carbon, methane, and ozone, are responsible for a substantial fraction of climate change as well as for a significant proportion of air-pollution related deaths and diseases that kill some 7 million people per year.

Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), which produce strong warming effects but only persist in the atmosphere for periods ranging from days to about a decade, can provide health benefits in three key ways:

  • directly from reduced air pollution and related ill-health;
  • indirectly from reduced ozone and black carbon effects on extreme weather and agricultural production (affecting food security);
  • and from other types of health benefits that are not associated with air pollution but may accrue as a result of certain SLCP mitigation actions, such as improved diets or more opportunities for safe active travel and physical activity.

This report reviews a range of strategies and policies for action covering sectors such as urban planning, transport, household energy and building design, food production and consumption, power generation, industry, and waste management. Reducing SLCP emissions can yield near-term benefits to health making measures particularly attractive to policy-makers, as well as slowing the pace of climate change over the next few decades.

Read the press release in the WHO Media centre.