Friday, September 09, 2016

Air pollution costs global economy trillions of dollars

Premature deaths related to air pollution cost trillions of U.S. dollars for the world in 2013, according to a study by the World Bank.

An estimated 5.5 million lives were lost in 2013 due to diseases associated with outdoor and household air pollution, causing human suffering and reducing economic development, said the World Bank in The Cost of Air Pollution report on Thursday.

These deaths cost the global economy about 225 billion dollars in lost labor income and more than 5 trillion dollars in welfare losses in 2013, said the report. Welfare losses are an approach commonly used to evaluate the costs and benefits of environmental regulations in a given country context.

In East and South Asia, welfare losses related to air pollution were the equivalent of about 7.5 percent of GDP in 2013, according to the report.

The report warned that the danger of air pollution is more pronounced in low and middle-income countries. It said that 90 percent of the population in these countries was exposed to dangerous levels of ambient air pollution in 2013.

The report showed that welfare losses nearly doubled and labor income losses increased by 40 percent from 1990 to 2013, despite countries making gains in economic development and health outcomes.

"We hope this study will translate the cost of premature deaths into an economic language that resonates with policy makers so that more resources will be devoted to improving air quality," said Laura Tuck, vice president for sustainable development at the World Bank.
 [china.org.cn]
9/9/16

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