Women try to protect themselves from heavy smog and air pollution | PTI
Women try to protect themselves from heavy smog and air pollution | PTI
Text Size:

Seoul: Air pollution from burning fossil fuels is generating economic losses of $8 billion a day, according to a Greenpeace report.

That’s about 3.3% of global gross domestic product, or $2.9 trillion per year, according to a report from Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air. China, the U.S. and India bear the highest economic cost of soaring pollution, at an estimated $900 billion, $600 billion and $150 billion a year, respectively.

Air pollution continues to harm billions of people on a daily basis, despite efforts by some countries and companies to push for greater use of renewable energy and cleaner fuels. Burning coal, oil and gas causes health issues, potentially leading to 4.5 million premature deaths around the world each year, with 40,000 children dying before their fifth birthday due to the exposure to fine-dust particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, known as PM 2.5, Greenpeace said.

“Every year, air pollution from fossil fuels takes millions of lives, increases our risk of stroke, lung cancer and asthma, and costs us trillions of dollars,” said Minwoo Son, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia. “But this is a problem that we know how to solve, by transitioning to renewable energy sources, phasing out diesel and petrol cars, and building public transport.”

Phasing out existing coal, oil and gas infrastructure and transitioning to renewable energy is required to avoid the worst impact of climate change, Greenpeace said. In the absence of efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the earth could warm by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, cutting global GDP by 2.5% to 7.5%, Oxford Economics said in a November report.

The financial cost of dealing with polluted air is the result of respiratory and non-communicable diseases, as well as an economic valuation of the years of life lost through premature death, Greenpeace said. Deaths of children and young people bring an economic cost through lost contributions to society and economy, which can be large, it said.

Compared to other pollutants such as ozone and nitrogen dioxide, the PM 2.5 leads to the greatest health impact and cost due to increased work absences, while nations with large populations typically have a heavier absolute cost burden, according to the report. In 2019, about 91% of the global population lived in places where levels of air pollution exceeded guidelines set by the World Health Organization. – Bloomberg


Also read: It will cost the world $300 billion to halt & fix the global warming problem


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here