While the United States are wondering what will happen next on climate change mitigation in their country, both India and China have recently unvealed very ambitious targets to fight local air pollution and global climate change.
$5.3 trillion (or 4.7 trillion euros) : those are staggering figures as they amount to $10 million every single minute. The figures come from the International Monetary Fund, so one can be pretty sure of them.
What kills the most people in developping countries ? You might think about AIDS / HIV. Or malaria… No : it’s pollution, which killed no less than 8.4 million people in 2012. In comparison, AIDS “only” killed 1.5 million and malaria 600,000.
Not so long ago, a much larger proportion of Chinese citizens was poor. From 1981 to 2008, the poverty rate was slashed from 85 percent to 13 percent. But this was rapid economic development has had a toll on the environment.
Nowadays, the air quality in the capital city of Beijing is “somewhat similar to a nuclear winter” as a Chinese crop scientist quoted in Treehugger remarked. But this might change soon as the local government is well aware of this situation.
Indeed, we have seen extensively how China is moving massively on energy efficiency, renewables such as solar and wind and on closing dirty and inefficient coal-fired plants.
According to new figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO), both indoor and outdoor air pollution killed no less than seven million people around the world in 2012, making it the world’s largest single environmental health risk.
“The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes,” said Maria Neira, Director of WHO’s Department for Public Health”
You would guess that with one in eight deaths now attributed to air pollution, our elected representatives will act even more on closing dirty factories, coal fired plants and so on.
Last week and earlier this one, the French capital was hit by important levels of air pollution. The situation was so out of hand on Monday that the city of Paris decided to ban half the cars off the roads as TreeHugger reported. According to the local ADEME, France is a severe offender regarding air … Read more
Air pollution kills a lot of people around the world and the situation in some Chinese cities has become nothing short of unbreathable. Meanwhile, we have seen in my series ” Plant, baby, plant “ that trees can solve many related problems. To a new study from Lancaster University, trees can absorb half of particulates, … Read more
I really appreciate reading Thomas L Friedman’s articles in the New York Times. His latest piece – Too Big to Breathe? – just nails it on how putting economic growth before anything else is endangering us all. There the acclaimed author of Hot, Flat and Crowded writes about how Harbin – a 10-million inhabitants city in China … Read more