Wei Peng Lead Author of All-In Climate Action Report Released at COP28

Written by
Cara Clase, Ph.D., Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
Dec. 6, 2023

The Conference of Parties (COP) is off to a productive start with C-PREE faculty, researchers, and students engaging with environmental stakeholders and policymakers from around the world. On the third day of COP, America is All In officially released a report authored by C-PREE faculty member Wei Peng and the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland that outlines the importance of federal, state, city, and corporate collaboration in achieving U.S. climate goals.  

The United States aims to cut net greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Dr. Peng and her co-authors make it clear that achieving Federal energy decarbonization and air quality goals will require an “all-of-society approach”: a policy approach that integrates climate action across federal, state, and city-level policies and includes coordination with businesses and communities.  

“Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 requires efforts from a wide range of actors, including top-down federal policies and bottom-up efforts from states, cities, businesses, and communities.” says Peng. “This ‘all-of-society’ approach is crucial not only for decarbonizing our economy, but it can also bring air quality and health benefits across every state and in nearly every county across the United States.”

By coupling energy, air quality, and health assessment models, Peng and her colleagues study how an all-of-society approach can “impact varying levels of climate action on the levels of key air pollutants and associated public health outcomes on a county-by-county basis in the United States.” Their analysis showed that climate-smart implementation of existing policies like the Inflation Reduction Act, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and electric vehicle sales targets can reduce premature deaths attributable to air pollution by nearly 3,300 annual deaths at the national and state-level in 2030.  

The report also states that all-in implementation of climate-smart policies can be especially effective with mitigating the exposure and effects of ambient particulate matter PM2.5 – the largest contributing air-pollutant to premature deaths in the world. According to the report, “climate-smart implementation reduce[s] deaths attributable to PM2.5 in 2030 by 10-15% in most states.” Similar effects would be seen in “nearly every county in America,” projecting to reduce premature deaths from PM2.5 by “more than 5% in two-thirds of counties and more than 10% in one-third of counties.”  

Though climate-smart policies are widely beneficial, the report recognizes that different communities will bear unequal health and outcome burdens, especially those with marginalized populations. Ryna Cui, the research director at the Center for Global Sustainability, addressed this issue during the report’s presentation at COP 28:

“We do see this universal improvement in every state and every county [in terms of] better air quality and health outcomes. … But we do observe the air quality disparity between different communities,” Cui said.  “This is where the all-in approach can be a powerful tool as we work together … to design targeted-strateg[ies] for specific locations, sectors, and groups.”




“All-In Climate Action for Improved U.S. Air Quality & Health Benefits,” was published by America is All In on December 2, 2023.  The authors are Wei Peng*, Xinyuan Huang, Alicia Zhao, Yang Ou, Shannon Kennedy, Gokul Iyer, Haewon McJeon, Ryna Cui, and Nate Hultman.  


*C-PREE Affiliates