The IPCC published their latest climate change report. They tried to justify spending $48 trillion over the next 20 years to transform world energy by claiming 180 million lives could be saved from reduced air pollution. Yes, there have been many studies that air pollution is one of the leading contributors to illness and death worldwide. Nextbigfuture agrees that particulates need to be removed to reduce the 6 million deaths per year from air pollution.
Direct programs that reduce the amount of particulate air pollution is 20 times cheaper than programs that also address carbon dioxide. Prioritizing the fastest and most cost-effective anti-soot and anti-particulate pollution would be decades faster and about 5% of the cost.
A package of 16 measures could, if fully implemented across the globe, save close to 2.5 million lives a year; avoid crop losses amounting to 32 million tonnes annually and deliver near-term climate protection of about half a degree C by 2040.
China is spending tens of billions every year to reduce air pollution. They are removing the most polluting cars and trucks and have been switching from coal power to natural gas, nuclear and renewables.
The Beijing area was required to reduce pollution by 25 percent, and the city set aside an astounding $120 billion for that purpose.
The 2013 plan set strict limits for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at an estimated cost of US$38 billion. China’s new 2018-2020 anti-air pollution plan sets even stricter targets, requiring cities to achieve a decrease of a minimum of 18% in PM2.5 levels compared with a 2015 baseline in cities of prefectural or higher level, and where these targets have not yet been achieved. The new plan also goes much further in its scope than the 2013 action plan, which applied solely to the city clusters of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the Pearl and Yangtze Deltas. The 2020 plan covers 82 cities throughout China (including Linfen in Shanxi) that will also need to initiate anti-smog measures.
According to the World Bank, the economic burden of pollution associated with premature mortality and morbidity—is immense for the world and for individual countries. Ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution alone cost the global economy US$5.7 trillion, or 4.4 percent, of global GDP in 2016. Individual country studies, for Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, China, India, Lao PDR, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru and Zambia, at national and subnational levels, suggest that the costs of pollution related disease are mainly due to outdoor and household air pollution; lead exposure; noise pollution; and inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.