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Air pollution deaths: G20 consumer emissions killed 2 million people in 2010

More than half of the world’s premature deaths from air pollution in 2010 were the result of economic consumption in only 11 G20 countries. Coal-fired power plant in Bergheim, Germany Lukas Schulze / Getty Images Nearly two million premature deaths from air pollution in 2010 were caused by the production of consumer goods in the G20 countries.

It according to the model by Southwest Keisuke At the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Japan, the group sought to identify the impact of each country’s economic consumption on air pollution and the health problems it causes.

Approximately 2 million air pollution-related premature deaths worldwide due to product consumption in 19 G20 countries (the European Union is another member state) in 2010, the latest year in which all figures were available. Of which 78,600 are infants. The team is seeking further cooperation among G20 countries to curb air pollution-related deaths that are the direct result of purchasing goods.

To calculate these numbers, the team mapped the perimeter Fine particle substance (PM2.5) – Fine particles that can invade the lungs and blood and cause illness – and estimated health effects in 199 countries.

These particles come from the manufacture, transportation and disposal of goods. They include black carbon, or soot, emitted when diesel, coal, and other biomass fuels burn, and secondary particles formed in the atmosphere as a result of other emissions.

Globalized trade means that consumption in one country can lead to PM2.5 pollution in another. Therefore, the team used trade data from 19 G20 countries to create a “footprint” that shows the impact of consumption in one country on health in another.

China has the highest number of premature deaths from PM2.5 particles, followed by India, the United States, Russia and Indonesia. With the exception of the United States, most of these deaths were within their own boundaries. However, consumption of goods in the G20 in the United States and 10 other countries resulted in more than 50% of PM2.5-related premature deaths in other countries.

Southwest says G20 countries need to take more responsibility for their entire footprint, rather than focusing solely on the emissions that result from transporting goods across national borders.

Francesca Dominici “Most of the responsibility lies with the government and large corporations,” says Harvard University.

Dominichi says reducing greenhouse gas emissions should ultimately reduce PM2.5 levels as well. “Air pollution and greenhouse gases share the same source, both affecting the most vulnerable people.”

Some high-income countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have promised net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century, but these promises Being criticized By leaders of low-income countries without a clear plan. China and Russia have promised to reach net zero by 2060. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi COP26 Summit This week The country will reach net zero emissions by 2070 ..

“Respecting climate change agreements can save millions of lives now and in the future,” says Dominici.

Southwest says individual consumers can also make a difference. “Consumers should pay attention to whether companies disclose their efforts […]

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