A recent study by atmospheric chemist Noelle Selin of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and colleagues found health savings could offset the cost of China's climate policy altogether.
While one might expect big health savings to be made from controlling air pollution in developing countries, similar findings have been reported in the United States.
"I would not be surprised if there were co-benefits in Australia, given we found them in the United States which is an industrialised country with advanced air pollution regulations," Dr Selin, whose study found the most cost-effective climate policy was to put a price in carbon, said.
Dr Selin said health co-benefits could be an added incentive for individual countries to take action on climate.
"When you are thinking about what motivates an individual country to take action on climate, air quality benefits are seen immediately," Dr Selin said.
"You stop burning fossil fuels and you see the impact on particulate matter immediately, whereas climate change impacts you would see further in the future and globally."
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