Zeroing in on Healthy Air
A National Assessment of Health and Climate Benefits of Zero-Emission Transportation and Electricity
“Zeroing in on Healthy Air” shows the tremendous public health and climate benefits if the United States accelerates a widespread transition to a zero-emission transportation sector coupled with non-combustion, renewable electricity sources like wind and solar.
“Zeroing in on Healthy Air: A National Assessment of the Health and Climate Benefits of Zero-Emission Transportation and Electricity” demonstrates that early and sustained actions to spur the transition away from combustion and toward non-polluting technologies can yield major benefits to lung health, air quality and the climate.
What Are the Benefits?
Transitioning to zero-emission transportation and electricity will greatly reduce pollutants that harm health today and threaten a healthier future.
in public health benefits
Achieving these major benefits to our health and our climate will require dedicated and sustained leadership and investment at all levels of government, and will require public education and engagement to ensure the transition to electric vehicles provides clean air for all communities.
110,000 lives saved due to less pollution
+2.7 Million asthma attacks avoided
Major reductions in greenhouse gases that amplify risks to public health, air quality and more
Cumulative Health Benefits in Select U.S. Cities
Learn more about the results in your state. Fact sheets available:
Who Would Benefit?
Despite decades of progress to clean the air, more than 4 in 10 of all Americans still live in a community impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution. Those impacted by polluted air face increased risk of a wide range of poor health outcomes. Further, climate change poses risks to everyone’s health.
The combustion of fuels for electricity generation and transportation is a major contributor to the health and climate burdens facing all Americans. These sources of pollution also create significant disparities in pollution burdens and poor health. Lower income communities and communities of color are often the most over-burdened by pollution sources today due to decades of inequitable land use decisions and systemic racism.
The transition away from combustion technologies and toward zero-emission technologies in the transportation and electricity generation sectors can significantly reduce exposures to pollution, especially in communities with nearby highways, ports, warehouses, refineries or power plants.
How Do We Get There?
Accelerating the shift to zero-emission transportation and non-combustion electricity generation will generate major reductions in harmful pollutants. “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” envisions widespread transitions to zero-emission transportation and non-combustion electricity generation over the coming decades, including 100 percent sales of zero-emission passenger cars by 2035 and of heavy-duty trucks by 2040, and shifting to non-combustion electricity generation by 2035. Strong investments and policies at the local, state and federal levels are needed to reduce harmful pollution and ensure all communities stand to experience cleaner air.
- Technical Documentation for “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” (PDF)
- Prior research on zero-emission technologies
Previous report: “The Road to Clean Air,” released in 2020. This report uses different methodology from “Zeroing in on Healthy Air.”