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The health impacts and mitigation of nitrogen air pollution

Air pollution from fine particulate matter, including nitrogen emissions, is associated with severe negative impacts on human health. However the contribution of nitrogen air pollution to these impacts on health has not previously been analysed.

Coinciding with COP26 and the publication of the #Nitrogen4NetZero proposal, a new paper has been published in Science which looks at the cost, in both years of life lost and the corresponding economic price, of nitrogen emissions. The study also compares the abatement costs of ammonia emissions and nitrogen oxide emissions.

The #Nitrogen4NetZero proposal is an initiative launched at COP26 that highlights the need for sustainable nitrogen management as part of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Journalists dialled in to the briefing to hear the authors discuss the study findings and address questions including:

  • What is the cost of nitrogen pollution?
  • What does this study mean for the UK? What could we be doing to reduce our nitrogen emissions?
  • How can we reduce ammonia emissions from agricultural activities?
  • Why does sustainable nitrogen management need to be a part of climate change mitigation and adaption?


Speakers included:

 Prof Mark Sutton, Environmental Physicist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)

Prof Baojing Gu, Professor pf Biogeochemistry & Development Economics, Zhejiang University


This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.

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