Europe | Report: Coal phase out is not to be missed public health opportunity

2016.07.05 Europes Dark Cloudvia HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), the Healthy Energy Initiative’s European partner, together with Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, the WWF European Policy Office, and Sandbag have launched a new report which analyses the health impacts for air pollution of all coal-fired power stations in the EU for which data is available (257 out of 280).

Entitled “Europe’s Dark Cloud,” the joint report reveals that in 2013, coal emissions were responsible for over 22,900 premature deaths, tens of thousands of cases of ill-health from heart disease to bronchitis, and up to EUR 62.3 billion in health costs.

For the first time, the report analyses how the harmful dust caused by coal plants travels across borders and the effect this has. The five EU countries whose coal power plants do the most harm abroad are Poland, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and the UK. The five countries most heavily impacted by coal pollution from neighbouring countries, in addition to that from their own plants are Germany, Italy, France, Greece and Hungary.

Coal pollution and its health impacts travel far beyond borders, and a full coal phase-out in the EU would bring enormous benefits for the health of people across Europe. The report shows that each coal power plant closed provides a major boost for the health not only of those living nearby, but also for those abroad.

Learn more:

  • View the full report, infographics, video, and other materials on HEAL’s website
  • Read HEAL Executive Director Génon Jensen’s op-ed in Euractiv: “Tackle air quality for the climate and public health”
  • Read The Lancet‘s editorial, “Air pollution–crossing borders,” featuring this report and the recent IEA report on air pollution and health

2016.07.05 Figure A_SAZ

2016.07.05 Figure P_SAZ

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