Small increase in energy investment could cut premature deaths from air pollution in half by 2040, says new IEA report

IEA strategy based on existing energy technologies and policies can cut 50% of pollutant emissions, the fourth-largest threat to human health, by 2040.

“Clean air is a basic human right that most of the world’s population lacks,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “No country – rich or poor – can claim that the task of tackling air pollution is complete. But governments are far from powerless to act and need to act now. Proven energy policies and technologies can deliver major cuts in air pollution around the world and bring health benefits, provide broader access to energy and improve sustainability.”

In its first ever in-depth analysis of air quality, the IEA’s World Energy Outlook (WEO) has recently released a special report which highlights the links between energy, air pollution and health. The report presents strategies tailored to various country circumstances to deliver cleaner air for all. A Clean Air Scenario demonstrates how energy policy choices backed by just a 7% increase in total energy investment through 2040 produce a sharp improvement in health. Under such a scenario, premature deaths from outdoor air pollution would decline by 1.7 million in 2040, and those from household pollution would fall by 1.6 million annually.

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