Bengaluru lost 12k lives, $1.7 billion to polluted air in 2020: Study | Bengaluru News – Times of India
These findings are according to a Greenpeace Southeast Asia analysis of IQAir (a Swiss air quality technology company) data from a live Cost Estimator.
“To show the impact of air pollution related deaths on the economy, the approach used by Greenpeace is called “willingness-to-pay”, a lost life year or a year lived with disability is converted to money by the amount that people are willing to pay in order to avoid this negative outcome,” a statement issued here read.
Despite a temporary reprieve in air quality owing to the lockdown, the latest figures from the report underscore the need to act immediately. The need of the hour, Greenpeace said, is to rapidly scale up renewable energy, bring an end to fossil fuel emissions and boost sustainable and accessible transport systems.
Five other cities apart from Bengaluru — Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Lucknow — together lost approximately 1.1 lakh lives and $16 billion (see graphic), according to the study.
“Despite recording relatively better air quality this year due to strict lockdown, air pollution continues to be a serious public health issue, which also drastically impacts our economy. For the governments of the day, it is crucial that investments are made towards green and sustainable solutions,” Avinash Chanchal, climate campaigner, Greenpeace India, said.
Chanchal added that when we choose fossil fuel over clean energy, our health is put at stake and that polluted air increases likelihood of deaths due to cancer and stroke, spike in asthma attacks and worsens severity of Covid-19 symptoms.
Frank Hammes, CEO, IQAir, said: “Breathing should not be deadly. The fact that poor air quality claimed so many lives alone should give us pause, especially in a year when many cities were seeing lower air pollution levels due to less economic activity. Governments, corporations and individuals must do more to eliminate the sources of air pollution and make our cities better places to live.”