Smog reportedly accounts for as many as one in 10 premature deaths in the world and 400,000 in Europe
Research published by Europe’s sustainable energy engine, InnoEnergy, reveals that EU citizens could save €183bn by adopting innovative smog-reduction technologies over the next seven years.
Concrete, innovative transport and heating solutions are highlighted in the report as among the ways to protect European citizens from pollution and its impact on health.
The report, entitled Clean Air Challenge and produced in conjunction with Deloitte and supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), comes in response to the European Commission’s findings that smog may account for as many as one in every 10 premature deaths in the world. It will cost the EU an astonishing €475bn between 2018 and 2025 that represents 2.9 per cent of average annual GDP.
It also reveals that most Western European smog comes from transportation, while heating produces the most pollution in the East. The young are among the most affected. The report states that an increase of 100 units of particulate matter (PM) leads to a reduction of average life expectancy of around 2.3 years among children by age five.
Speaking at the launch event in Brussels, Jerzy Buzek, chair of the European Parliament Industry, Research and Energy Committee and former President of the European Parliament, said: “Smog is one of the most critical public health concerns of the century, accounting for as many as one in every 10 premature deaths in the world – and over 400,000 premature deaths in Europe every year.
“Putting the huge economic cost to one side, there is no reason, with the technology that is becoming available to us, that citizens should not be able to breathe clean air”
“The Clean Air Challenge report offers practical solutions that could help improve our citizens’ health and that could benefit the whole society. We must start implementing it throughout the EU without any delay.”
Diego Pavia, CEO at InnoEnergy, said it is “shocking” in this day and age that smog should pose such a health risk.
He added: “Putting the huge economic cost to one side, there is no reason, with the technology that is becoming available to us, that citizens should not be able to breathe clean air.
“At InnoEnergy, we like to tackle problems head-on and this is no exception. Not only are we making available further research to better understand the issue and identify practical solutions, but we are also actively seeking opportunities to offer investment and wider support to ambitious businesses with passion and a plan to put a stop to smog.”
InnoEnergy supports and invests in innovation and aims to build connections across Europe and bring together inventors and industry, graduates and employers, researchers and entrepreneurs, businesses and markets.
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