CHARLESTON, SC | September 14, 2020
Today, the American Lung Association released “The Road to Clean Air” – a new report that outlines the benefits of a transition to an electric transportation sector increasingly powered by clean, non-combustion renewable energy over the coming decades. The report finds a transition to electric cars, buses and trucks by mid-century would both improve air quality and address climate change, benefitting the lives and health of Americans. In South Carolina, this transition could result in avoiding 743 asthma attacks annually, and more than $672 million in public health benefits.
“The transportation sector is a leading contributor to air pollution and climate change,” said June Deen, director of advocacy for the Lung Association. “We have the technology to transition to cleaner cars, trucks and buses, and by taking that step we can prepare South Carolina for the future while also seeing the health and economic benefits forecasted in ‘The Road to Clean Air.’ Especially as our state faces the impacts of climate change such as extreme storms, this is a powerful and practical opportunity to take action to improve our economy, our health and our future.”
“The Road to Clean Air” outlines the broad benefits of the transition to an electric transportation sector over the coming decades.
National benefits per year based on emission reductions in 2050:
- avoiding approximately 6,300 premature deaths
- preventing more than 93,000 asthma attacks
- preventing 416,000 lost workdays
- $72 Billion in public health benefits
- $113 Billion in climate impacts avoided
Benefits in South Carolina per year based on emission reductions in 2050:
- avoiding approximately 59 premature deaths
- preventing more than 743 asthma attacks
- preventing 3,167 lost workdays per year
- $672,435,708 in public health benefits
Climate change threatens the health of all Americans, from wildfires and extreme storms to worsening air pollution. And poor air quality caused by transportation pollution contributes to a wide range of negative health impacts, including childhood asthma attacks, impaired lung function and development, lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes, and premature deaths. As shown in the Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, nearly half of all Americans are living with unhealthy air quality, and low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by bad air quality.
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. The Lung Association is encouraging all South Carolina residents to sign a petition to Governor Henry McMaster urging support for the critical transition to electric vehicles across the United States.
For more information about “The Road to Clean Air” report visit Lung.org/ev. Journalists seeking to speak with a policy or medical expert about the benefits of a transition to electric vehicles and the health impacts of air pollution or climate change may contact Jill Dale at [email protected] or 312-940-7001.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.