Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pollution reaches "unbearable" level to humanity: UN official

Pollution has reached a level which is unbearable to humanity, and one of the important solutions to current emergency is to invest in renewable energy, said UN Environment Program Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Thiaw said pollution is a multi-dimensional issue which has impact on public health and also affects economy.

Thiaw cited earlier World Health Organization statistics as saying that seven million premature death annually linked to air pollution, adding that trillions of dollars are also being lost every year due to pollution.

Moreover, he noted that pollution may cause trans-boundary issues because pollutants generated in one country may affect another country or region far away through rivers and lakes, forest fires or air.

The most effective solution to curb pollution, according to Thiaw, is to find out the sources and reduce them, which is a complex process and in need of joint efforts from all walks of life -- governments, the private sector and the civil society.

Among the efforts, Thiaw said investing in renewable energy is a feasible approach to tackle, for instance, air pollution and this industry have proven to be profitable. "The price is going down and the technology is accessible."

Thiaw said the UN environment agency believes that by using new technology and renewable energy, a country can provide energy to its communities without further polluting the environment.

"A good example is China where hundreds of billions of dollars are being invested every year on the renewable energy," he noted.

To reduce the air pollution in China, Thiaw said the Chinese government is investing quite massively to reduce the number of coal-fired energy systems and also is promoting clean transport systems with electric vehicles and motorbikes.

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