Substituting 'H2 for C' and reducing global inequalities in health
Bellaby, P., Flynn, R. and Ricci, M. (2011) Substituting 'H2 for C' and reducing global inequalities in health. Journal of Global Ethics, 7 (1). pp. 91-103. ISSN 1744-9626
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449626.2011.556659
Life expectancy and health differ greatly between emerging and developed countries and within countries. Global dependence on fossil fuels contributes to health inequalities through air pollution, the geopolitics of scarce resources and probable climate change arising from global warming. Substituting for fossil fuels (C), hydrogen (H2), as vector and store of energy produced from low-carbon and/or renewable sources could reduce health inequalities by improving the environment. It is unlikely that the global market would initiate such a change. Nation-states would not act alone and would need to cooperate in leading it. Global recession might be the incentive that is needed to restructure a C-economy into an H2-economy. Yet, the transition would carry high costs, which would have to be borne by the developed countries in order to achieve a new treaty that included emerging countries. H2 for C is thus not only a technical fix, but also a global-ethical choice.