Climate Action Adds 3 Weeks to Average Life Expectancy of Every Citizen of Paris and Could Prevent 45,000 Premature Deaths Globally Each Year
Peter Sagan’s doing amazing stuff in the sport of cycling but his advocacy for riding as a mode of transportation as opposed to driving is nearly as impressive.
In the video above, he comments on new research from the C40 Cities on the scale of health benefits that can be gained by cities and their citizens by implementing climate action and policies to clean the air.
- Under the commitments made by Paris in the C40 Green & Healthy Streets Declaration, improvements to the air quality in Paris will avoid an estimated 400 air quality related premature deaths per year and add 21 days to life expectancy on average for every resident in the city of Paris.
- This will prevent an estimated 1,280 respiratory hospital admissions and 6,350 cardiovascular hospital admissions in Paris each year triggered by air pollution
- If all C40 cities reduced their annual average PM2.5 levels by 2.5 µg/m³ – by for example meeting the commitments of the Green & Healthy Streets Declaration and encouraging more people out of their cars – it would potentially prevent more than 45,000 premature deaths each year.
- Switching from driving to an active commute (walking at a brisk pace or cycling 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week) can deliver the following health benefits for citizens:
- 23% reduced risk of heart disease,
- 23% reduced risk of stroke,
- 15% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,
- 14% reduced risk of depression,
- 12% reduced risk of breast cancer
- 11% reduced risk of dementia, and
- 8% reduced risk of colon cancer
- An active commute also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and therefore prevents climate change – If 10% of citizens in C40’s North American Cities switch from driving to cycling that would save over 1.6 million tonnes of CO2e per year, equivalent to 180 million gallons of gasoline consumed.
As a cyclist and generally someone that enjoys the outdoors, the findings and acting upon them are important to me not only for securing the future of this planet for my daughter but, selfishly, so that I can fully enjoy a good ride outdoors without hacking up a lung-full of smog afterwards.