All of us are becoming increasingly aware of respiratory and heart disease from polluting emissions.
Now health campaigners say the energy policies of the world’s richest countries are inflicting a double burden on their citizens, not only using their taxes to pay fossil fuel subsidies, but also loading huge health costs on them.
The Health and Environment Alliance, HEAL report says that although fossil fuel combustion causes deadly air pollution and climate change, virtually all governments spend vast sums of public money – their citizens’ taxes – on supporting the oil, gas and coal industry in fossil fuel energy production.
The G20 agreed in 2009 to phase out the subsidies, but HEAL says that on average, in countries belonging to the bloc, the health costs associated with fossil fuels are far greater than the subsidies: US$2,758bn against $444bn. How big are our subsidies?
This infographic doesn’t show the direct effect of pollutants from burning fossil fuels but looking just at climate change in itself, there is much food for thought.