Updated: February 14, 2020 8:21:54 am
A new Greenpeace report has estimated the global cost of air pollution from fossil fuels at around $2.9 trillion per year, or $8 billion per day — 3.3% of the world’s GDP.
India is estimated to bear a cost of $150 billion, or 5.4% of the country’s GDP, which is the third-highest absolute cost from fossil fuel air pollution worldwide.
China and the US are estimated to bear the highest absolute costs from fossil fuel air pollution, respectively at $900 billion and $600 billion.
Globally, air pollution is estimated to cause 4.5 million premature deaths each year. This includes 3 million deaths attributable globally to PM2.5, which is one of the principal pollutants in northern Indian cities including Delhi.
Globally, PM2.5 is also estimated to cause the loss of 62.7 million years of life, 2.7 million emergency room visits due to asthma, 2 million preterm births and 1.75 billion work absences. The 2 million preterm births include 981,000 in India and over 350,000 in China.
Additionally, the report links approximately 350,000 new cases of child asthma in India to nitrogen dioxide, which is a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. As a result of this, over 1.28 million more children in India live with asthma, which is linked to fossil fuel pollution.
In India, exposure to fossil fuels also leads to a loss of around 490 million workdays, the report said.
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Greenpeace mentions that many of the solutions to curb air pollution are also solutions to limit global temperatures from increasing beyond 1.5°C.
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