Fossil fuel air pollution caused 8.7m deaths globally

An estimated one in five deaths each year can be attributed to air pollution from fossil fuel burning, a figure much higher than previously thought, according to new research led by Harvard University and published in the journal Environment Research.

The study “Global mortality from outdoor fine particle pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion: Results from GEOS-Chem” shows that more 8.7 million people around the globe die each year as a result of breathing in fine particle (PM) pollution from the burning of fossil fuels. Regions with the highest concentrations of fossil-fuel-related air pollution, including eastern North America, Europe, and South-East Asia, have the highest rates of mortality.

“Our study adds to the mounting evidence that air pollution from ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is detrimental to global health. We can’t in good conscience continue to rely on fossil fuels, when we know that there are such severe effects on health and viable, cleaner alternatives,” said co-author Eloise Marais at UCL.

Source: UCL News, 9 February 2021. Link:

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