MIL­LIONS OF LIVES COULD BE SAVED

Saturday Star - - METRO -

MEET­ING the goals of the Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change could save about 1 mil­lion lives a year world­wide by 2050 through re­duc­tions in air pol­lu­tion alone, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) re­vealed in a re­port this week.

Air pol­lu­tion causes 7 mil­lion deaths glob­ally ev­ery year and costs about $5.11 tril­lion (R70.6 tril­lion) in wel­fare losses glob­ally. In the 15 coun­tries that emit the most green­house gas emis­sions, the health im­pacts of air pol­lu­tion are es­ti­mated to cost more than 4% of their gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

“The Paris Agree­ment is the strong­est health agree­ment of this cen­tury,” said Dr Te­dros Ad­hanom Ghe­breye­sus, WHO di­rec­tor gen­eral. “The ev­i­dence is clear that cli­mate change is al­ready hav­ing a se­ri­ous im­pact on hu­man lives. It threat­ens the ba­sic el­e­ments we all need for good health – clean air, safe drink­ing wa­ter, nu­tri­tious food sup­ply and safe shel­ter – and will un­der­mine decades of progress in global health.” | Sheree Bega

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