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Co-Benefits to Children’s Health of the U.S. Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

David Cooley, Abt Global; Frederica Perera and Alique Berberian, Columbia University; David Mills, Peak to Peak Economics; and Patrick Kinney, Boston University


July 30, 2020

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a carbon trading program designed to reduce carbon pollution in 10 states in the Northeast. Because RGGI’s impact on human health was unknown, Abt Global analyzed the public health benefits, which included saving hundreds of lives and billions of dollars. Columbia Univeristy contracted Abt to determine how RGGI might benefit children specifically. The estimated avoided cases of adverse child health outcomes included:

  • 537 asthma cases,
  • 112 preterm births,
  • 98 cases of autism spectrum disorder, and
  • 56 cases of low birth weight.

The estimated savings ranged from $191 to $350 million.