Friday, August 3, 2012

The future impact of air pollution

Air pollution is major environmental issue in many countries of the world. The human-made emissions continue to grow and this will lead to further worsening of global air quality in years to come.

The EU scientists from the Max Planck Institute say that if the world continues "business as usual" with the increasing level of carbon emissions, the average world citizen will by 2050 experience similar levels of air pollution to that of today's average East Asian citizen.

Air pollution is not only major environmental issue but also a major health risk which leads to millions of deaths worldwide. World Health Organization says that urban outdoor air pollution leads to 1.3 million deaths per year worldwide.

The scientists are calling for much stronger efforts, including much more effective legislation, to avoid further deterioration of global air quality and prevent further negative impact on human health.

The global air pollution reduction measures are yet to be implemented, and the important first step would no doubt be agreeing on new international climate change deal. The bad news is that climate change talks have so far showed very little progress with large number of countries being reluctant to significantly reduce their carbon emission levels.

What world desperately needs in this time is a global clean air policy. However, this sort of international policy will be hard to achieve, particularly given the large difference in opinion between the developed and the developing countries.

China still remains the world's largest air polluter, followed by United States. These two large countries have so far showed very little in terms of good will to lead the world in reducing the global carbon footprint.

 If we fail to do something to prevent further increase in emissions our children and grandchildren will be forced to live in the world with much worsened air quality.

The areas of eastern China, northern India, the Middle East, and North Africa are projected to have the world's poorest air quality in years to come, but the levels of several major air pollutants is also set to significantly rise in much of the Western world.

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