The report notes that the economic cost of air pollution reflects pollution concentrations, population size and the availability and cost of healthcare.
Low income countries have to deal with air pollution which affects children, as it has been estimated that on a global scale about 40,000 children die before their fifth birthday because of exposure to PM2.5 pollution.
Following the severity of the situation nowadays, the solutions vary, are available and affordable.
Clean transport and renewable energy not only bring significant reductions in toxic pollutants such as PM2.5, NOx and ozone, but also help to keep climate change-causing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.
The report proposes that a switch towards an affordable and carbon-neutral transportation to ensure healthy people and cities.
It is highlighted that low-cost, active and carbon neutral transportation is an important part of this transition, having the combined benefits of reducing urban pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, mental illness, and respiratory disease.
It is recommended that one of the most important ways that governments can catalyze sustainable transport is to set a phaseout date for diesel, gas, and petrol cars, and to introduce comprehensible and affordable public transport, with safe walking and cycling infrastructure.
We need to move away from private cars as the primary mode of transport, and initiatives like car-free days allow us to imagine what our cities would look like without traffic and pollution.
The transition to renewable energy is essential both to prevent catastrophic climate change and to protect our health. While fossil fuel companies continue to market outmoded technologies, our communities pay the price.
A just transition to renewable energy is possible, but we can’t afford to delay any longer.
Concluding in 2016, and just one day before the Paris Climate Agreement came into force, the UN Environment Programme released its annual Emissions Gap report revealing that the world was still heading for temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4oC this century. UNEP said that the world must urgently and dramatically increase its ambition to cut roughly a further quarter off predicted 2030 global greenhouse emissions and have any chance of minimizing dangerous climate change.
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