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UN Says Air Pollution Kills More People Than AIDS and Malaria Combined; Clean Energy Could Halve Death Toll
Posted By Timon Singh On April 19, 2013 @ 4:00 pm In Air quality,News,Renewable Energy | No Comments
The UN recently outlined its development goals for 2030 at a conference in Olso , where Director General of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization  Kandeh Yumkella  stated that air pollution  is a bigger killer than AIDS and malaria combined. He went on to say that the transition towards cleaner energy sources  could cut this death toll 50% by 2030.
In his speech, Yumkella said that most air pollution victims suffered from indoor pollution caused by wood fires and primitive stoves in developing nations, and the issue primarily affects women and children. However he added that investments in solar, wind or hydropower  in these countries could halve these premature deaths. The startling results came from a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) study , which revealed that 3.5 million people die each year from indoor air pollution, while 3.3 million died from outdoor air pollution.
Speaking to Reuters , Maria Neira , the WHO’s director of public health and environment said, “The problem has been underestimated in the past”, highlighting the current crises in Beijing  and Mexico city. She added that the figures reflected better measurements and changes in methods, such as including heart problems linked to pollutants. “Still, it means more than 6 million deaths every year caused by air pollution,” she said. “The horrible thing is that this will be growing” because of the rising use of fossil fuels.
In comparison to the six million deaths caused by air pollution, in 2011 there were about 1.7 million AIDS-related deaths and 660,000 malaria fatalities in 2010.
“If we increase access to clean energy … the health benefits will be enormous. Maybe the health argument was not used enough,” Neira said. With renewable energy output growing year upon year, the UN has updated its 2030 targets for universal access to energy, doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in global consumption.
Via Scientific America 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/un-says-air-pollution-kills-more-people-than-aids-and-malaria-combined-clean-energy-could-halve-death-toll/
URLs in this post:
 Air Pollution: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-121916266/stock-photo-smoke-from-the-pipes-of-heat-station-moscow.html?src=same_artist-133347587
 Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com/
 conference in Olso: http://www.unido.org/media-centre/news/article/date/2011/10/10/unido-director-general-says-oslo-conference-vital-milestone-for-developing-strategy-to-provide-energ.html
 U.N. Industrial Development Organization: http://www.unido.org/
 Kandeh Yumkella: http://www.unido.org/who-we-are/structure/director-general/biography.html
 air pollution: http://inhabitat.com/tag/air-pollution/
 cleaner energy sources: http://inhabitat.com/energy/
 solar, wind or hydropower: http://inhabitat.com/tag/renewable-energy/
 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) study: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/
 Speaking to Reuters: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=air-pollution-scourge-underestimate
 Maria Neira: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_Neira
 crises in Beijing: http://inhabitat.com/tag/beijing-air-quality/
 Kevin Dooley: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/
 David Barrie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/addictive_picasso/
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