India | Doctors urge Environment Minister to strengthen health action in proposed National Clean Air Program

National Clean Air Program: Need more than just research, say experts
At least 25 public health professionals from leading institutes have written to the Environment Ministry.

Source: Shweta Narayan of Health Energy Initiative – India, as published in The News Minute. The story has been picked up by a wire service and syndicated to news outlets around the country. See one such article in Business Standard.

As the last date for submitting comments on the draft National Clean Air Program (NCAP) by Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) …

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India | Op-ed: Public health in times of environmental pollution

India | Op-ed: Public health in times of environmental pollution

The draft National Clean Air Programme has lofty goals, but falls short on three key counts

Source: Bhargav Krishna and Dr. K. Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India, excerpted from the Hindu Business Line. 

The World Health Organization recently released its updated Ambient Air Pollution database, noting that over 90 per cent of the global population lives in areas with poor air quality. Unsurprisingly, India figures prominently on the list with 14 of the top 15 cities showing the highest levels of annual average PM2.5 (particulates …

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9 out of 10 People Worldwide Breathe Polluted Air, But More Countries Are Taking Action

9 out of 10 People Worldwide Breathe Polluted Air, But More Countries Are Taking Action

Source: World Health Organization

Air pollution levels remain dangerously high in many parts of the world. New data from WHO shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Updated estimations reveal an alarming death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution.

“Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “It is unacceptable that over 3 …

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Global | Lancet Countdown 2017 Report Shows Urgency of Healthy Energy Transition

Global | Lancet Countdown 2017 Report Shows Urgency of Healthy Energy Transition

“From 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health”

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change (*) released this week its 2017 report titled, “From 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health.” The report builds upon the influential 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change, which emphasized that the response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”

The Lancet Countdown’s 2017 report tracks 40 indicators across five areas, arriving at three key conclusions:

The …

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Global | Report: Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health

Global | Report: Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health

The Report from The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health analyzes and communicates the massive scope of the health and economic costs of air, water, and soil pollution. Through analyses of existing and emerging data, the Report reveals pollution’s severe and underreported contribution to the Global Burden of Disease. It uncovers the economic costs of pollution to low- and middle-income countries, and compare the costs of inaction to the costs of available solutions. It informs key decision makers around the world about the burden that pollution places …

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South Africa | Book Chapter: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health in South Africa

South Africa | Book Chapter: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health in South Africa

Rico Euripidou of groundWork, the Healthy Energy Initiative’s partner in South Africa, co-authored a chapter on “Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health in South Africa,” in a recently published book on Climate Change and Air Pollution: The Impact on Human Health in Developed and Developing Countries. Other co-authors include members of the Public Health Association of South Africa’s Climate, Energy and Health (CEH) Special Interest Group.

Abstract: 

Climate change and air pollution pose significant short-term and long-term health risks to South Africans due to the carbon intensity of …

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South Africa | Study: US$107-242 billion of externalities across lifecycle of South Africa’s Kusile Coal Plant

South Africa | Study: US$107-242 billion of externalities across lifecycle of South Africa’s Kusile Coal Plant

According to a study published in South African Journal of Science, the total coal-fuel cycle externality cost on both the environment and humans over the Kusile Coal Fired Power Station’s lifespan was estimated at ZAR1 449.9 billion to ZAR3 279 billion or 91c/kWh to 205c/kWh sent out (baseline: ZAR2 172.7 billion or 136c/kWh). Accounting for the life-cycle burdens and damages of coal-derived electricity conservatively, doubles to quadruples the price of electricity, making renewable energy sources such as wind and solar attractive alternatives. Read more.

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India | Huma Lung Foundation launches radio advisories on air pollution and health

What if, along with the traffic and weather updates on the radio, you could also learn about the current air quality and how it affects your health? A radio station in Chennai, India, is doing just that.

In a first-of-its-kind effort, Huma Lung Foundation (HLF) in collaboration with Fever FM 91.9 are providing “Air Check” – air quality and health updates to the city of Chennai through its popular daily show Lose Control and on HLF’s website. Modeled around the traffic updates on radio, “Air Check” gives information about the Air …

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South Africa | Report: Coal Plants Cause 2,200 Premature Deaths and Cost $2 Billion Annually

South Africa | Report: Coal Plants Cause 2,200 Premature Deaths and Cost $2 Billion Annually

Air pollution from coal-fired power stations kills more than 2,200 South Africans every year, and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually. This costs the country more than R30 billion annually, through hospital admissions and lost working days.

These findings were presented by UK-based air quality and health expert Dr. Mike Holland to the Department of Environmental Affairs, members of the Environmental Affairs and Health Portfolio Committees, and to the Public Health Association of South Africa in September 2017.

Dr. Holland told decision-makers that …

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India | Health professionals urge implementation of power plant standards to protect public health

A group of public health professionals and medical doctors sent a letter of concern to the Indian Environment Minister — who is a medical doctor himself — in response to recent reports that the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) is in the process of diluting and extending deadlines for critical air emission and water use norms for thermal power plants that were announced in December 2015 and are being phased in during 2017.

The letter emphasized the importance of strict air emission norms to protect public …

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