Around 3 Americans create enough carbon emissions annually to kill a person. In addition, the emissions from industrial sources such as a coal power plant would result in around 900 deaths.
The numbers above come from a report released by Columbia University. A number was calculated to determine how much monetary damage each ton of carbon emissions does. As well, deaths per each ton of CO2 released into the atmosphere was calculated.
The backbone of the report states that for every 4,434 metric tons of carbon emissions released, one premature fatality will occur. Increased global temperatures results in increased fatalities. The report also mentions 4,434 metric tons of carbon is “equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 3.5 average Americans”.
Retaining current global temperatures would save an estimated 74 million people. The report also only factors in heat-related mortalities rather than deaths from natural disasters such flooding or storms. Various studies have linked increased global temperature with an increase in natural disasters. Therefore, the estimate of 74 million lives is an understatement.
The study not only outlines the problems with global temperature increase, but also highlights the impact of American citizens. 12.8 average world people produce 4,434 metric tons of carbon while 146.2 Nigerians produce the same figure.
Carbon neutrality by 2050 requires significant steps. Now, human lives are presently at risk, rather than the previous thinking that humans would deal with the consequences later.