Monday, June 27, 2016

IEA Study Highlighting the Need to Cut Air Pollution, Which is Costing Trillions, to Save Millions

The Paris-based agenc, IEA, is calling for governments to adopt a strategy to cut pollutants by half, a plan that would add about 7 percent to the total energy investment needed through 2040, according to a report Monday. That includes $4.8 trillion for advanced pollution control and accelerating the transformation of the energy industry.

“Clean air is a basic human right that most of the world’s population lacks,” said Executive Director Fatih Birol. “We need to revise our approach to energy development so that communities are not forced to sacrifice clean air in return for economic growth.”

The IEA’s strategy pushes for cleaner fuels, energy efficiency, better cooking facilities and emissions controls. It also calls for a collective long-term air quality goal, policies for implementation and regulations to monitor and enforce it. The agency said the efforts may cut pollution-related deaths by more than 3 million a year.

What are the main causes of air pollution?

1. Poverty - There are 2.7 billion people in the world who burn biomass for cooking. Smoke inhalation from this, as well as burning kerosene for lighting, is estimated to cause 3.5 million premature deaths a year, mostly women and children in developing Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. Fossil-fuel intensive industries - Power plants that burn fossil fuels and industrial facilities are major emitters. Burning coal is responsible for 60 percent of combustion-related sulfur dioxide emissions.

3. Urbanization - Tightly-packed cities with roads full of traffic lead to dirty air. Two thirds of the $2.3 trillion investment into pollution control technologies recommended by the IEA is to comply with elevated vehicle emissions standards.

Read the full press release @ Bloomberg

Full report @ World Energy Outlook

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