Brian Paxton’s Musings on Climate Change and the Environment

July 12, 2019

BY Alexander Kalis

By Brian Paxton

The State of Global Air 2019 report of the Health Effects Institute and The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that the combination of PM2.5, ozone, and household air pollution is the fifth leading risk factor for mortality worldwide, causing 10% of 2017 global deaths. Air pollution reduced life expectancy in 2017 by 1 year and 8 months on average worldwide. China and India together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India have experienced the steepest increases in air pollution levels since 2010. In 2017 92% of the world’s population lived in areas that exceeded the WHO Guideline for PM2.5

According to REN21, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions grew an estimated 1.7% in 2018 due to increased fossil fuel consumption. Global subsidies for fossil fuel use increased 11% from 2017, and fossil fuel companies continued to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying to delay, control or block climate change policies and on advertisements to influence public opinion.

Bloomberg NEF’s latest New Energy Outlook projects annual carbon emissions to have peaked in 2018 and will drop by more than a third through 2050 as a result of renewable energy.

Research by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Oil Change International entitled G20 Coal Subsidies shows how G20 governments provide at least US$ 63.9 billion per year – up from over US$ 17.2 billion per year just five years ago – in government support to the production and consumption of coal alone, with coal-fired power plants the single largest contributor to the growth in global CO2 emissions in 2018. China, Japan and India are the worst culprits.

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