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Global economy may see huge annual cost over air pollution

12 June 2016 12:12

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A research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) warns about massive costs of air pollution on the world economy.

According to the recently published study by the OECD, air pollution may cost the global economy some 2.6 trillion dollars each year by 2060.

It says air pollution could cause between six and nine million premature deaths per year by 2060. This is while in 2010, outdoor air pollution caused more than three million premature deaths.

The report noted that air pollution imposes significant costs on annual healthcare, workforce and crop yields among others.

OECD Environmental Director Simon Upton has said, “The number of lives cut short by air pollution is already terrible and the potential rise in the next few decades is terrifying … If this is not motivation enough to act, this report shows there will also be a heavy economic cost to not taking action.”

The study predicts that countries like India, China, Korea and Uzbekistan will likely suffer the worst due to power plant emissions, traffic exhaust, and heavily congested cities.

Air pollution can arise from many sources, but the worst contributors include motor vehicles, climate control for large buildings, waste management, agriculture, coal and diesel power generation, and many forms of manufacturing.

Back in February, 175 nations signed a historic agreement in Paris, France, on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

China and the US, which together account for 38 percent of global emissions, pledged to formally adopt the deal by the end of the year.

The Paris deal sets the objective of curbing global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, by moving to clean energy.

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