In the NewsLondon Review of BooksNovember 24, 2021

Ten Million a Year: Dying to Breathe

The Climate Impact Lab recently published a comprehensive accounting of the ‘global mortality consequences for climate change’. The lab, a consortium of environmental scientists and economists from a wide range of US institutions, is known for being at the alarm-raising vanguard of the serious research on the effects of warming. Their highest estimate for the end of this century – assuming an implausibly high emissions scenario called RCP8.5 – was for an annual death toll from climate change of 73 deaths per 100,000 people. Today, air pollution is killing up to 126 per 100,000. In a more plausible scenario, the report projects fewer than 20 deaths per 100,000.