Air Pollution from Fossil Fuels Consumption Costs World $8 Million A Day
Earth is in dire need of help amidst the crisis of rapidly changing climate, but the various activities of mankind are further fueling global warming. The use of fossil fuels adds a huge amount of pollutants in the air. According to a Greenpeace report, air pollution from various fossil fuel consumption accounts for an estimated 4.5 million deaths each year across the globe.
The researchers also estimated global economic losses from fossil fuel-generated air pollution at $2.9 trillion a year, which approximately amounts to 3.3 percent of global GDP or $8 billion a day.
Report from the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and Greenpeace Southeast Asia is the first to ever assess the global cost of air pollution specifically from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.
Historically, energy from fossil fuels has dominated power generation but as the cost of establishing and maintaining renewable sources of power (like wind and solar) continues to fall, these cleaner alternatives are far less expensive than the fossil fuel options.
According to the report, the China Mainland, the United States and India bear economic loss at an estimated $900 billion, $600 billion and $150 billion annually, respectively, due to the fossil fuel air pollution.
Researchers have found that the pollutants thrown-off by fossil fuel consumption accounts for 4.5 million premature deaths each year around the globe, including 1.8 million in China and a million in India.
Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director, Janet Redman said,
The fossil fuel industry is committing mass murder and the Trump administration is helping them get away with it. In the United States and around the world, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are the first to feel the impacts of extraction and exploitation, including the devastating consequences of air pollution. The economic impact of fossil fuel air pollution is staggering, but the tragic loss of life is what makes continued political and financial support for the fossil fuel industry morally unacceptable.
Besides, it causes dozens of health problems such as asthma, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion in vehicles, power plants, and factories, which is responsible for at least 4 million new cases of asthma in children each year. Almost 16 million children across the world are living with asthma due to exposure to NO2 pollution from fossil fuels.
Microscopic particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5) released during fossil fuel burning can cause severe health issues. Globally, PM 2.5 generated during fossil fuel combustion is responsible for roughly 1.8 billion days of work absence due to illness each year, equating to approximately annual economic losses of $101 billion.
In the United States, PM 2.5 air pollution from fossil fuels attributes to an estimated 429,000 asthma-related trips to the emergency room each year.