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China braced for rise in air pollution deaths

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A multinational study involving Chinese, German, and Canadian researchers has highlighted an alarming rise in deaths due to air pollution in China, peaking at 2.6 million in 2005 
• Despite improvements reducing deaths by 59,000 annually from 2013 to 2019, air pollution levels remain critically high, with half of China's cities not meeting national, let alone World Health Organization, standards in 2019

🔭 The context: The study tracks the historical impact of air pollution and acknowledges China's efforts in combating it through significant investments in renewable energy and pollution control measures 
• However, it warns that without accelerated environmental action, the aging Chinese population's vulnerability to air pollution-related diseases could lead to an increase in mortality rates

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: China's struggle with air pollution and its potential rise in related deaths underscore the urgent need for global action on environmental health issues 
• The country's situation highlights the interconnectedness of climate change, pollution, and public health, emphasizing the importance of sustainable practices and clean energy transitions worldwide

⏭️ What's next: Future projections indicate an increase in air pollution-related deaths in China between 116,000 and 181,000 annually from 2030 to 2060, despite ongoing improvements 
• This suggests that China, and similarly affected countries, must adopt more aggressive pollution reduction strategies to counteract the aging population's heightened susceptibility to air pollution's lethal effects

💬 One quote: "The same level of air pollution will have a greater impact on an older and less healthy population with increased levels of diseases impacted by air pollution – many of which increase with age," (Prof Michael Brauer, University of British Columbia)

📈 One stat: Deaths from particle pollution in China were increasing by about 213,000 a year, peaking at 2.6 million in 2005

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change


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