Air pollution from burning fossil fuels is responsible for more than 4m premature deaths around the world each year.
Children, especially those living in low-income countries, are particularly affected with an estimated 40,000 dying each year before they reach their fifth birthday because of exposure to particulate pollution from fossil fuels.
“Air pollution is a threat to our health and our economies,” said Minwoo Son, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia. “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.”
Burning fossil fuels costs the global economy about $8bn a day, according to a study.
The study found:
- NO2, from petrol and diesel vehicles, power plants and factories, is linked to roughly 4m new cases of asthma in children each year. Approximately 16 million children live with the condition due to exposure to fossil fuel pollution.
- Tiny particulate pollution – known as PM2.5 – is attributed to roughly 1.8bn days of work absence because of illness each year.
- China, the US and India are hardest-hit financially by the impact of dirty air with estimated costs of $900bn, $600bn and $150bn each year respectively.