by Neela Banerjee, Inside Climate News
Air pollution, mainly from burning fossil fuels, reduces life expectancy worldwide by an average of 2.9 years and has led to 8.8 million premature deaths according to a new study in Cardiovascular Research.
- In North America, lives were shortened by 1.4 years on average due to air pollution. Comparatively, lives are shortened by 3.9 years in East Asia, and 0.8 years in Australia
- The largest contributor to air pollution is fossil fuel use by power plants, industry, transportation, and the residential sector
- The absence of fossil fuel emissions would increase the average life expectancy around the world by 1.1 years. If all man-made air pollution sources were eliminated, life expectancy would rise by 1.7 years
- About two-thirds of premature deaths are attributable to human-made air pollution and the proportion attributable to fossil fuel use goes up to 80 percent in industrialized countries
The Climate Center supports divestment campaigns to stop financing fossil fuels and to speed up and scale up greenhouse gas reductions globally and nationally. As we phase out fossil fuels in favor of clean energy, we will phase out the predominant source of air pollution.