NYU News Profiles Kevin Cromar’s Research

on Quantifying the Health Impacts of Climate Change


NYU News’ Robert Polner interviewed Director of Health, Environment, and Policy, Kevin Cromar, about his contributions to an economic model that estimates health impacts of rising greenhouse gases, helping rulemakers such as the EPA and policymakers best invest public funds:

Wildfire smoke pollution causes 6,000 premature deaths in the US each year, your research notes—while the 2018 California wildfires brought $32 billion in health costs, $28 billion in capital costs, and $89 billion in economic disruption.

Cromar: The Northeast has been getting slammed from smoke from Canadian wildfires this summer, as we all saw. It is in some part attributable to climate change. But in any economic model right now used by the government, to ask what’s the benefit of addressing climate change, those air quality impacts that the Northeast is experiencing, for example, are totally absent. Same thing for wildfires in the West and the many other countries experiencing the health and economic effects of increased temperatures, ozone degradation, drying lakebeds, dust storms. We aim to generate the data in an appropriate way that can be included in the EPA’s economic models.

Cromar plans to share this knowledge with other countries as part of his Wellcome-supported project.

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