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International Energy Agency favours clean energy to cut air-pollution mortality

renewable-energy-pictureShift to Clean Energy Could Save Millions Who Die From Pollution
Reducing deadly pollution has the double benefit of quickly trimming carbon dioxide emissions, the International Energy Agency says
. Inside Climate News, BY PHIL MCKENNA  27 JUNE 16 

Extra investments to control deadly pollutants like smog and soot could cut worldwide deaths from air pollution in half in a few decades and end the growth of global warming emissions in just a few years, international experts declared on Monday.

In its first report ever to examine the links between these twin goals, the authoritative International Energy Agency said the solutions go “hand-in-hand.”

With a 7 percent increase in energy-related investment, it said, the world could cut air-pollution mortality from about 6.5 million today to 3.3 million in 2040. And the changes would bring about a peak in CO2 emissions by 2020, it said.

Along with spending on pollution control equipment, the keys, it said, are energy efficiency and the use of renewables like wind and solar.

The report marks a new movement among those who favor the long-term goal of fighting global warming toward an equal and more immediate concern—protecting the health of the world…….

The IEA assessment outlines a Clean Air Scenario where an additional $4.8 trillion in pollution control technologies, renewable energy and energy efficiency measures is invested worldwide between now and 2040. The investment would include making clean cooking facilities available to an additional 1.8 billion people worldwide.

The $4.8 trillion cost represents an additional 7 percent on top of energy spending plans already announced by the world’s nations, including the pledges to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that they made under the new Paris climate treaty.  (The IEA calls this baseline its “New Policies Scenario” to distinguish it from business as usual.)

The alternative Clean Air Scenario detailed in the report would result in a drop of more than 50 percent in global emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides and a nearly 75 percent reduction in harmful particulate matter emissions by 2040.

Air pollution reductions would be greatest in developing countries. The 60 percent of India’s population currently exposed to air with a high concentration of fine particles would, for example, fall to less than 20 percent, according to the report.

“Implementing the IEA strategy in the Clean Air Scenario can push energy-related pollution levels into a steep decline in all countries,” Birol said.

“It can also deliver universal access to modern energy, a rapid peak and decline in global greenhouse-gas emissions and lower fossil-fuel import bills in many countries.”…….

July 1, 2016 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, renewable

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