"Fossil Fuel-Driven Air Pollution Causes 5.1 Million Deaths Annually Worldwide"
Nearly Matches Cumulative COVID-19 Deaths
- 미디어1 (email@example.com)
- Nov 30 2023 01:20 PM
COP28 Opens, Sounding an Alarm on Climate Crisis
Research has revealed that over 5 million people globally die each year due to air pollution caused by fossil fuel usage. This alarming statistic emerges as the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commences today (local time), where phasing out fossil fuel use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be major topics of discussion.
On October 6th, Greenpeace activists demonstrated against global fossil fuel production and consumption in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Paris=Reuters Yonhap News
The Guardian, on the 29th of last month, cited a research paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The international research team, comprising experts from the UK, USA, Germany, Spain, and Cyprus, analyzed the status of air pollution and the impact of fossil fuel use in industry, power generation, and transportation sectors, using the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study data and NASA’s satellite-based fine particulate matter and population data.
According to the paper, 8.3 million people died in 2019 due to exposure to fine particulate matter and ozone. Particularly, the study highlighted that 61% of these deaths, amounting to 5.1 million, could have been avoided and were caused by air pollution resulting from fossil fuel use. This figure is close to the total cumulative COVID-19 deaths worldwide (6.98 million) reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) this month.
The research team stated, “This is a much higher number of deaths than previously reported estimates. It demonstrates that the impact of phasing out fossil fuels on reducing mortality could be much greater than previously understood.” The Guardian assessed, “This research, released just a day before COP28, could pressure world leaders to take action against fossil fuel usage.”
COP28, taking place over two weeks in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), will conduct a ‘Global Stocktake (GST)’ of the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by various countries. This measure is the first of its kind since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which aimed to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. However, skepticism is already prevalent, with both the U.S. and China, accounting for 45% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, declaring their non-participation, diminishing the significance of COP28.
The ‘host country risk’ has also emerged. The UAE, chairing the COP28, is suspected of using the conference not to urge the global cessation or reduction of fossil fuel use but to promote its own oil sales. The BBC reported on the 27th that internal documents prepared by the COP28 presidency included plans to promote business ventures like natural gas supply by the UAE’s state-owned oil company (ADNOC). Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, who is presiding over COP28, concurrently serves as the CEO of ADNOC.
By Yongseong Wi, Reporter