How much does better air quality cost?
Study shows that an investment of BRL 13 per person in planting trees is enough to improve health in urban areas
Air pollution and higher global temperatures are part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) instituted by the United Nations (UN). With an eye towards reducing environmental impacts over the coming decades, various institutions, in addition to the UN, are debating viable solutions to improve people’s quality of life.
That is the case of The Nature Conservancy, which released a study in November 2016 showing that an investment of USD 4 (around BRL 13) per person in planting trees would result in a one-fourth reduction in particulate matter, generated by the burning of fossil fuels in major urban areas.
According to the authors of the “Planting Healthy Air” study, trees clean air and keep temperatures down, resulting in major health benefits for people living in large cities. It is estimated that worldwide around three million people die annually as a result of respiratory complications, heart problems or stroke caused by inhaling pollutant microparticles that enter the bloodstream.
When trees are planted correctly in strategic areas, they work like a filter, guaranteeing clean air and comfortable temperatures. A breeze of fresh air, considering that the temperature in wooded areas can be up to 2°C lower, not to mention that trees also contribute to maintaining humidity in the air.
Forestry areas at International Paper, for example, cover over 102,000 hectares of planted lands, with 70% reserved for eucalyptus and 25% to conservation of native vegetation. IP’s eucalyptus plants sequester around 6 tons of CO² for every ton of paper produced, making the air cleaner for the community and reinforcing our commitment to the planet and to future generations.
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