Air pollution costs India $150 billion a year: Report

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 13, 2020, 09.48 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

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China, the United States and India bear the highest cost from fossil fuel air pollution.

The Center for Energy and Clean Air Research and the Greenpeace Branch in Southeast Asia recently published research according to which, the global cost of fossil-fueled air pollution is $ 8 billion a day, or roughly 3.3% of global economic output.

China, the United States and India bear the highest cost from fossil fuel air pollution.

In India, the cost of fossil fuel pollution is $150 billion a year, the report further estimated. The whopping number is  5.4 per cent of India's GDP and to put this more perspective, the number is higher than what New Delhi spends on education; India spends on healthcare.

This is even more than the GDP of several countries including, Barbados, Maldives, Seychelles etc.

Almost all of India's factories run on fossil fuels. Coal, which is the largest source of energy supply in India, is being burnt to fuel development in India and this, in turn, is taking a toll on the country's economy.

The country is the third-largest consumer of oil while it is the fourth-largest oil refiner in the world.

Earlier studies have shown that living in New Delhi is like smoking 10 cigarettes a day. 

Burning of fossil fuel is not just harming the environment. It is also taking a toll on India's health, economy, and work-life balance.

The report further said that exposure to pollution from fossil fuels also leads to around 49 crore days of work absence due to illness.

Another source of economic costs is around 12.85 lakh more children in India live with Asthma linked to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a by-product of fossil fuel combustion.

Air pollution is also killing 1 million Indians every year, meanwhile, there are 980,000 pre-term births every year. These are all related to fossil fuel air pollution.

"Air pollution from fossil fuels is a threat to our health and our economies. It takes millions of lives and costs us trillions of dollars,” a research specialist at air cleanliness at Greenpeace Southeast Asia said.

"But this is a problem we know how to solve: by switching to renewable energy, gradually eliminating diesel and gasoline vehicles and building public transport."