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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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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UK | Coal Phase-Out is a Public Health Victory Says Health Leaders

UK | Coal Phase-Out is a Public Health Victory Says Health Leaders

The UK Government’s announcement that coal power plants will be phased-out by 2025 has been warmly welcomed by health leaders as a victory for public health. The decision, which followed a Government-led consultation in which the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change actively participated, will help to both reduce air pollution and carbon emissions. Read more.

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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 | Toxic metals contaminate villages near coal facilities in Chhattisgarh

India | Toxic metals contaminate villages near coal facilities in Chhattisgarh

The air, water, soil, and sediment in and around several villages in the Raigarh district in Chhattisgarh state are severely contaminated with various toxic heavy metals, according to a new report by Healthy Energy Initiative’s partner in India, Community Environmental Monitoring, along with a local community group.

The environmental sampling and testing was undertaken to investigate complaints of severe pollution and health problems from the coal mines, thermal power plants, and coal ash ponds by the residents of the region.

These findings strengthen the evidence that coal-fired power generation …

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Global | Report quantifies cost of fossil fuel subsidies on human health

Global | Report quantifies cost of fossil fuel subsidies on human health

“World governments make citizens pay billions to destroy their own health”

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), the Healthy Energy Initiative partner in Europe, has launched the report Hidden Price Tags: How ending fossil fuel subsidies would benefit our health providing the first-ever comparison of fossil fuel subsidies and the costs to health associated with air pollution from fossil fuels.

HEAL found that the health costs associated with fossil fuels are over six times higher than fossil fuel subsidies. The report also spotlights how fossil fuel …

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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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Global | Health organization leaders launch global campaign on air pollution

Global | Health organization leaders launch global campaign on air pollution

Unmask My City is global initiative by doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, and allied healthcare professionals dedicated to improving air quality and reducing emissions in our cities.

Launching today on World Asthma Day, Unmask My City, a global initiative in 10 cities on five continents, aims to promote practical solutions and create tangible policy changes that drive a clear, downward global trend in urban air pollution by 2030.

This will result in significant reductions in illnesses and deaths as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Through Unmask My …

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South Africa | Death and destruction: What’s left out of energy planning

South Africa | Death and destruction: What’s left out of energy planning

The South African Department of Energy’s released Integrated Resource Plan does not seriously factor in the pollution impact of its current and planned energy mix and appears to have distorted the data to favour coal and nuclear, writes David Hallowes, researcher for groundWork (Healthy Energy Initiative’s partner in South Africa):

Pollution from Eskom’s [coal-fired] power plants result in 2,240 attributable deaths each year. And every day, some 11,000 people are physically restricted in what they can do while 2,700 lose the day’s work. The economic impact is …

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