Air pollution deaths are double earlier estimates: WHO
PARIS- Agence France-Presse
Air pollution causes 8.8 million premature deaths every year worldwide, more than doubling recent assessments, according to a study released on March 11.
Between 40 and 80 percent of those excess deaths are caused by heart attacks, strokes and other types of cardiovascular disease underestimated up to now as a driver of smog-related mortality, researchers reported.
On average, a toxic cocktail of pollutants from vehicles, industry and agriculture shortens the lives of those who die prematurely by 2.2 years, they calculated.
Small and larger particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) have likewise been linked to drops in cognitive performance, labor productivity and educational outcomes.
In another study, extracting and processing materials, fuel and food contributes as much as half of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, the U.N. said on March 12, as experts gathered in Kenya to find ways to rein in exploding global consumption.
Using dozens of data sources, the authors of a major new report presented lawmakers and businesses with a stark choice: drastically reform the global economy to get more from less, or risk the collapse of global infrastructure.
With countries already committed under the Paris climate deal to curb emissions to fend off the worst impacts of global warming, experts said there was little hope of meeting that goal without an "urgent and systemic transformation" in how we use Earth's resources.