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A new report from the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), of which EFA is a member, shows that  every  year, air pollution from mostly fossil fuel combustion cuts short the lives of an estimated 6.5 million people worldwide because of, among others, respiratory tract infections and respiratory and lung diseases. 

The report, called 'Hidden price tags - How ending fossil fuels would benefit our health', provides the comparison of fossil fuel subsidies and the costs to health associated with air pollution from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, formed from the remains of dead plants and animals. Burning them to create energy causes air pollution and climate change that, as a consequence, will cause respiratory tract infections, strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer and chronic lung diseases.

“Good air quality is crucial to patients with chronic respiratory diseases. Fossil fuels are one of the causes of air pollution that threaten high standards of patients’ quality of life. Fossil fuels are a threat to human health and politicians have the responsibility to act now!” EFA president, Mikaela Odemyr states.

Yet virtually all governments support the oil, gas and coal industry in fossil fuel energy production. The report reveals that on average, in G20 countries, the health costs associated with fossil fuels, are over six times higher than the subsidies: 2,758 billion USD vs 444 billion USD (2,600 billion Euro vs 416 billion Euro).

Therefore, the costs to health from the resulting air pollution, climate change and environmental degradation are not carried by the industry but paid by society. Ending fossil fuel subsidies is therefore a matter of importance to public health.

You can read the whole report here

 

“Good air quality is crucial to patients with chronic respiratory diseases. Fossil fuels are one of the causes of air pollution that threaten high standards of patients’ quality of life. Fossil fuels are a threat to human health and politicians have the responsibility to act now!” EFA president, Mikaela Odemyr states.

Tags: Category: News
Country: EU,Europe
Disease area: Asthma,Allergy,COPD
Theme: Air quality, - Air pollution