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International Energy Agency Calls for Action On Air Pollution

June 30, 2016
Environmental Protection

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), an estimated 6.5 million deaths every year are linked to poor air quality with the figure set to rise in the coming decades. Air pollution is now the world’s fourth largest threat to health behind high blood pressure, poor diet and smoking.

Energy and Air Pollution 2016 is the first report on environmental pollution from the agency, which has 29 members and was founded in 1973 as a response to the oil embargo at the time. Executive director Fatih Birol believes that energy companies have a major role to play in reducing pollution.

“We need to revise our approach to energy development so that communities are not forced to sacrifice clean air in return for economic growth,” he said. “Implementing the IEA strategy in the Clean Air Scenario can push energy-related pollution levels into a steep decline in all countries. 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.”

The document claims that whilst global emissions are forecast to decline between now and 2040, existing and planned energy policies will not be enough to improve air quality. It does, however, claim that clear energy policies backed by a 7% increase in total energy investment would produce a sharp improvement in health. Recommendations include setting an ambitious long-term air quality goal, putting in place a package of clean air policies and ensuring effective monitoring and enforcement.

You can download a full copy of Energy and Air Pollution 2016 HERE