Reducing smog could save European citizens €183 billion by 2025, report finds
Smog costs the EU billions of euros, damages the environment and has been found responsible for one in 10 premature deaths across the globe.
New research launched by InnoEnergy has revealed that EU citizens could save €183 billion over the next seven years by adopting innovative smog-reduction technologies.
The report, ‘Clean Air Challenge’, was produced in conjunction with Deloitte and comes in response to the European Commission’s findings that smog may account for as many as one in every 10 premature deaths across the globe, and will cost the EU an astonishing €475 billion between 2018 and 2025. That represents 2.9 per cent of average annual GDP.
The report investigates the issue of air quality across the continent – highlighting concrete, innovative transport and heating solutions that could protect European citizens from pollution.
Jerzy Buzek, Chair of the European Parliament Industry, Research and Energy Committee, said: “Smog is one of the most critical public health concerns of the century, accounting for over 400,000 premature deaths in Europe every year. The Clean Air Challenge report offers practical solutions that could help improve citizens’ health and benefit the whole society. We must start implementing it throughout the EU without any delay.”
Diego Pavia, CEO at InnoEnergy, said: “It is shocking that in this day and age smog should still pose such a risk to the health of our communities. Putting the huge economic cost to one side, there is no reason, with the technology that is becoming available, that citizens should not be able to breathe clean air. At InnoEnergy, not only are we making available further research to better understand the issue and identify practical solutions, but we are actively seeking opportunities to offer investment and wider support to ambitious businesses with passion and a plan to put a stop to smog.”
Irena Pichola, Partner, Leader of Sustainability Consulting Central Europe at Deloitte, said: “We must not forget that poor air quality affects people differently. For instance, there are huge regional variances in the causes and effects of smog, with most Western European smog coming from transportation, while heating produces the most pollution in the East.
“But, as mentioned in the report, wherever you look, the young are among the most affected. With an increase of 100 units of PM comes a reduction of average life expectancy of approximately 2.3 years among children by age five.”