Coal kills 1.6 million Chinese people each year

According to a new study, air pollution from coal kills 1.6 million people in China every single year. That makes one death every 21 seconds, almost three per minutes or 180 per hour, around 4,000 a day.

Now you understand better why China is so hell bent on tackling coal : the People’s Republic is losing 0.1 percent of its population to air pollution each year. This is huge.

The Associated Press (AP) has the story :

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that about 1.6 million people in China die each year from heart, lung and stroke problems because of incredibly polluted air, especially small particles of haze. Earlier studies put the annual Chinese air pollution death toll at 1 to 2 million, but this is the first to use newly released Chinese air monitoring figures.

The study released Thursday blamed emissions from the burning of coal, both for electricity and heating homes. The study, to be published in the journal PLOS One, uses real air measurements and then computer model calculations that estimate heart, lung and stroke deaths for different types of pollutants.

Study lead author Robert Rohde said that 38 percent of the Chinese population lives in an area with a long-term air quality average that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls “unhealthy.”

(…) “In other words, nearly everyone in China experiences air that is worse for particulates than the worst air in the U.S.,” Rohde said.

For those interested to learn out more, here is the link of the study.


Luckily for us all – local air pollution is nothing less but global climate change as I noted in a previous post – this situation will likely get better as China will spend ” upwards up $2.5 trillion over the next 15 years on clean energy projects “ according to Forbes :

China pumped $90 billion into the renewable energy sector in 2014, more than one quarter of the world’s total investment in green technology.

An idea for the Corporate Responsibility Departments of companies manufacturing there : invest in renewable energy sources to power their plants and thus make the country going even faster on its much needed energy transition…

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