By Matthew Green | Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – Pollution from fossil fuels causes one in five premature deaths globally, suggesting the health impacts of burning coal, oil and natural gas may be far higher than previously thought, according to a study published on Tuesday.
Parts of China, India, Europe and the northeastern United States are among the hardest-hit areas, suffering a disproportionately high share of 8.7 million annual deaths attributed to fossil fuels, the study published in the journal Environmental Research found.
The new research gives the most detailed assessment of premature deaths due to fossil-fuel air pollution to date. Another study in 2017 had put the annual number of deaths from all outdoor airborne particulate matter — including dust and smoke from agricultural burns and wildfires — at 4.2 million.
“While there are still some holdouts on the science behind climate change, there can be no argument that pollution from burning fossil fuels causes tremendous amounts of harmful pollution. If climate change is too esoteric for you, just look at the impact of fossil fuel pollution on public health. Either way the answer is more clean energy.”
Court Rich, Rose Law Group co-founder and Director of Renewable Energy and Regulatory Law Departments