Tuesday October 04, 2022

Fossil fuels make up 90% of Middle East air pollution

September 23, 2022

PARIS: More than 90 percent of harmful air pollution in the Middle East and parts of North Africa comes from fossil fuels, according to research on Thursday that showed the region "permanently exceeded" dangerous air quality levels.

The World Health Organisation this year said the MENA region had some of the poorest air quality on Earth. The long-standing assumption was that the smog choking most of the region’s cities was primarily composed of desert sand, given their location on the world’s "dust belt" where there are frequently more than 20 major sand storms each year.

In 2017, an international team of researchers set off on an epic voyage across the eastern Mediterranean to analyse air quality. They found that the vast majority of small particles -- resulting in greater health risk -- were manmade, mainly from the production and use of fossil fuels.