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AFP
October 22, 2020

Air pollution costs Europe cities $190bn

World

AFP
October 22, 2020

Paris: Air pollution costs inhabitants of European cities more than 160 billion euros ($190 billion) each year due to long- and short-term health impacts, a group of environmental and social watchdogs said in research published Wednesday.

In a sweeping analysis of air quality, health and transport data in more than 400 cities, the CE Delft alliance said that pollution from fossil fuels in 2018 cost the average citizen 1,250 euros -- about 4 percent of their annual income. Air pollution increases the likelihood of developing conditions that are known risk factors for Covid-19, they said.

"Our findings provide additional evidence that reducing air pollution in European cities should be among the top priorities in any attempt to improve the welfare of city populations in Europe," the analysis said. "The present Covid-19 pandemic has only underscored this."

The study looked at more than a dozen health factors linked to air pollution in cities in order to quantify the "social cost" of exhaust fumes and factory smoke on populations.