Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What is the Impact of Air Pollution on the World- Present and Future?

Also discussed here: Air pollution to cause 6-9 million premature deaths and cost 1% GDP by 2060 (OECD Press Release, Jun. 9. 2016) 

Today we review a report from the OECD which estimates the impact of air pollution in terms of economic costs and on health costs and premature lives lost. Global costs are expected to rise from $21B in 2015 to $176B in 2060 (in constant 2010 dollars). The number of lost sick days which affects productivity is expected to rise from 1.2 B to 3.7 B in 2060. The number of premature deaths due to outdoor air pollution is expected to rise from 3 million in 2015 to 6-9 million in 2060. Policies to address this include incentives aimed at technology to reduce vehicle emissions, the implementation of improved air quality standards and introduction of emission/congestion/road pricing. The highest per capita costs are found in China, followed by Korea, Eastern Europe and the Caspian region and this is also where premature deaths per capita are highest

oecd impacts
Key Quote

The most recent Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study estimates that air pollution – indoor and outdoor combined – was the cause of 5.5 million premature deaths globally in 2013

 The number of lives cut short by air pollution is already terrible and the potential rise in the next few decades is terrifying. If this is not motivation enough to act, this report shows there will also be a heavy economic cost to not taking action

The projected increase in concentrations of PM2.5 and ozone will in turn lead to substantial effects on the economy. According to the calculations in this report, global air pollution-related healthcare costs are projected to increase from USD 21 billion (using constant 2010 USD and PPP exchange rates) in 2015 to USD 176 billion 2005 in 2060. By 2060, the annual number of lost working days, which affect labour productivity, are projected to reach 3.7 billion (currently around 1.2 billion) at the global level. 

This report projects an increase in the number of premature deaths due to outdoor air pollution from approximately 3 million people in 2010, in line with the latest Global Burden of Disease estimates, to 6‑9 million annually in 2060

the implementation of policies, such as incentivising the adoption of end-of-pipe technologies, implementing air quality standards and emission pricing, will certainly help avoid the worst impacts of outdoor air pollution

Premature death rates are forecast to be up to three times higher in 2060 than in 2010 in China and up to four times higher in India. Death rates are seen stabilising in the United States and falling in much of Western Europe thanks in part to efforts to move to cleaner energy and transport

 The regions with the highest per capita costs are China, followed by Korea, Eastern Europe and the Caspian region. These are regions in which the number of cases of illness per capita is highest

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