Study Finds Increased Tree Cover Can Reduce Summertime Deaths By 30%

| Updated: February 3, 2023 3:22 pm

A new study published in The Lancet has found that planting more trees in urban areas could reduce summertime fatalities by 30%. Researchers studied 93 European cities with a total of 57 million inhabitants, and found that increasing tree cover by up to 30% could help cool off cities by an average of 0.4 degrees Celsius, reducing the risk of heat-related mortality.

The study found that up to 30% more urban tree cover could have saved 2,644 of the 6,700 premature deaths in cities in 2015 due to high temperatures.

The greatest benefits were seen in Southern and Eastern European cities which had the highest temperatures and temperature-related deaths. Lead author Tamar Iungman from Barcelona Institute for Global Health said, “We already know that high temperatures in urban environments are associated with negative health outcomes, such as cardiorespiratory failure, hospital admission, and premature death.”

Overall, Southern and Eastern Europe experienced the greatest temperatures, and these regions’ cities had the highest incidence of temperature-related deaths. These regions also benefited the most from an increase in tree cover.

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