Substantial public health benefits and billions of savings in health care costs could be made by raising the EU's climate target for 2020 to 30 per cent, according to a study released on 14 September. The anticipated benefits amount to up to €30.5 billion across the EU, in the form of avoided death and ill health costs such as restricted activity and hospital costs. Published by health and environmental NGOs, the report "Acting now for better health" identifies that cuts must be made domestically, rather than through international offsets, if maximum health benefits and savings are to be realised.
These €30.5 billion in benefits come on top of the estimated €52 billion in public health gains under the existing 20 per cent target. The report also finds that the health savings alone would be enough to cover two-thirds of the estimated additional costs of implementing a 30 per cent target.