UN Says Health Benefits Of Switching To Clean Energy Will Be Enormous

April 10 News: UN Says Health Benefits Of Switching To Clean Energy Will Be Enormous


Fighting climate change would be good for everyone’s health, UN experts said yesterday. [Reuters] Air pollution is an underestimated scourge that kills far more people than AIDS and malaria and a shift to cleaner energy could easily halve the toll by 2030, U.N. officials said on Tuesday. Investments in solar, wind or hydropower would benefit both human health and a drive by almost 200 nations to slow climate change, blamed mainly on a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from use of fossil fuels, they said. “Air pollution is causing more deaths than HIV or malaria combined,” Kandeh Yumkella, director general of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, told a conference in Oslo trying to work out new U.N. development goals for 2030…. A 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) study found that 3.5 million people die early annually from indoor air pollution and 3.3 million from outdoor air pollution. Toxic particles shorten lives by causing diseases such as pneumonia or cancer. “The problem has been underestimated in the past,” Maria Neira, the WHO’s director of public health and environment, told Reuters. Smog is an acute problem from Beijing to Mexico City. “Still, it means more than 6 million deaths every year caused by air pollution,” she said. “The horrible thing is that this will be growing” because of rising use of fossil fuels. … “If we increase access to clean energy … the health benefits will be enormous. Maybe the health argument was not used enough” in debate on encouraging a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies, she said. Yesterday, Ernest Moniz told the Senate that he saw natural gas as a way to fight climate change. [Washington Post] He also echoed the Administration’s position on pricing carbon — that there was more of a bipartisan appetite for doing so in 2008. [The Hill]  A federal judge ruled that the Administration should have fully weighed the environmental impact of fracking before issuing leases in California. [Reuters] Yesterday, educators released curriculum guidelines that recommend teaching the science of climate change and evolution starting in middle school. [New York Times] America does not spend enough on research and four charts will prove it. [Washington Post] Researchers at Solazyme have made a breakthrough in microalgae renewable oil production, and will soon be able to produce several types of oil in the same place. [CleanTechnica] Tomorrow, Heather Zichal will discuss energy and environmental issues with the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. [The Hill] Olympic medalists who depend on snow to ply their craft wrote a letter to the White House saying that climate change threatens the winter tourism industry. And snow. [Guardian] On May 1, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a case brought by Mississippi coastal landowners suing energy and chemical companies for emitting carbon pollution that causes climate change and sea level rise. [AP] LCV and NWF are airing ads in some key states urging senators to back EPA nominee Gina McCarthy because she is an ally of fishermen and “a cop on the beat protecting the air, our kids and our communities.” [The Hill] Crowdfunded solar energy is quickly gaining ground in California, with the first project offered selling out in six hours. [EarthTechling] A Walgreens in Evanston, Illinois opening by Thanksgiving will produce more energy than it consumes. [CleanTechnica]     

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