Air pollution is costing advanced economies plus China and India an estimated US$3.5 trillion a year in premature deaths and ill health, and these costs will rise unless government action is taken to limit vehicle emissions, a new OECD report says.
In OECD countries, around half the cost is from road transport, with diesel vehicles producing the most harmful emissions. Traffic exhaust is a growing threat in fast-expanding cities in China and India, as the steady increase in the number of cars and trucks on the road undermines efforts to curb vehicle emissions.
The report, “The cost of air pollution: Health impacts of road transport”, calculates the cost to society across the OECD’s 34 members to be about US$1.7 trillion. It puts the cost at nearly US$1.4 trillion in China and nearly US$0.5 trillion in India.