Vietnam’s draft Power Development Plan 2021-2030 (PDP VIII) with a vision to 2045 seeks to pivot to an energy transition driven by renewables. However, the draft also includes a target for an additional 30 gigawatts (GW) of coal projects.
This “Air Quality, Health & Toxic Impacts of Proposed Coal in Vietnam’s Power Development Plan VIII” report breakdowns the national, provincial, and city-level health and economic impacts of 24 proposed coal-fired projects that could come online. Every year, the additional capacity is estimated to cost USD 270 million (VND 6.2 trillion), 2,500 premature deaths, 760 new cases of asthma in children, and 370 preterm births – with the greatest burden seen in major cities. High mercury, fly ash and acid deposition pose added risk to surrounding ecosystems and populations.
Coal based power plants are a major source of air pollution in India. After notification of emission standards for coal plants in December 2015, it’s been six years of sluggish implementation of the same resulting in huge health and economic damage costs. The report “Health and Economic Impacts of Unabated Coal Power Generation in Delhi-NCR” attempts to answer the questions, “What is the impact of continued power plant operations on air quality, human health and economics without the adoption of emission control technologies as directed under the MoeF&CC, 2015 notification for coal-based power plants in Delhi NCR”.
The study highlights that pollution from these power plants travels hundreds of kilometres and impacts public health in states far from their vicinity and the Delhi-NCR region, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, etc.
The report found that the operation of power plants in Delhi-NCR with pollution controls in line with the emission standard notification would have negated 3000 lives lost, 3.2 million work absence days, > 4700 preterm births, > 7700 Asthma emergency room visits and ~3000 COPD cases in 2018. The report also highlights that operation of power plants according to the standards would have saved nearly ₹4800 Cr in 2018 by avoiding welfare losses and forgone labour costs caused by air pollution impacts.
This report “Air Quality & Health Impacts of Coal-fired Power in the Philippines” studies how the existing coal capacity of 10 GW in the country is responsible for many negative health impacts, including 630 air pollution-related deaths in 2019. Another 9 GW of coal is under construction or in permitting phases, and will only increase premature deaths, other diseases and the associated economic costs.
To achieve the Paris Agreement target to limit the average global temperature rise this century below 2°C, emissions from the energy sector would need to peak as soon as possible and show a clear decline by 2030. This report “China Nationally Determined Contribution and Domestic 14th Power Five-Year-Plan” analyzes China’s potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and the country’s changes to its policy actions over the next five years.
The recent announcement by the Indian Government to auction coal blocks to private companies for commercial use of coal gathered mixed reactions from various stakeholders. Some called it a long awaited major reform. However, State governments of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra opposed the auction by either registering their concern via a letter or a legal challenge. Coal miners unions opposed privatisation fearing negative impact on Coal India Limited (CIL).
Environmentalists and human rights groups raised concerns that expansion of coal mining could lead to destruction of more than thousands of hectares of forest land and displacement of indigenous people in the last remaining contiguous forest of India.
The main reason highlighted while putting these blocks for auction is the “need for expansion in domestic coal mining capacity to meet the increasing demand and reduce import dependence of the country”. In this paper we made an attempt to answer the question Does India need new coal mines to meet its 2030 demand?
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a colourless air pollutant that is invisible to the human eye, widespread and hazardous to human health. Breathing SO2 increases the risk of health conditions including stroke, heart disease, asthma, lung cancer and premature death.
Documenting and understanding the global sources of SO2 emissions helps guide efforts to stop SO2 pollution, reduce the health impacts of air pollution and exposes the toxic consequences of fossil fuel use. This report ‘Ranking the World’s Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Hotspots: 2019-2020‘ investigates the sources and geographical distribution of the industries responsible for major SO2 emissions that have been identified by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) across the globe.
This study on Air quality, health and toxics impacts of the proposed coal power cluster in Chattogram, Bangladesh presents insight on the proposed eight coal-fired power plant project in Cox’s Bazar and the increased health and air pollution implications within the area. Together, the plants would emit 1,600 kg of mercury, with one-third of this leaking into cropland and freshwater ecosystems. Given a 30-year operating life, the air pollution emissions from the plants would increase air pollution-related deaths by 30,000.
Air pollution in Indonesia’s capital city and surrounding provinces has been increasing with Jakarta recording 172 days of “unhealthy” air quality in 2019. The report “Transboundary Air Pollution in the Jakarta, Banten, and West Java provinces” examines how transboundary air pollution is carried to Jakarta by wind and other mechanisms, and the health and economic impacts this is having on Jakarta and on its residents.
German hard coal and lignite-fired power plants are among the worst industrial polluters in Europe, responsible for an estimated 4,400 deaths in 2013, second only to Poland. The European Environment Agency’s (2014) found that out that of the 20 European thermal power plants causing the most economic damage through their air pollutant emissions, five were in Germany.
This publication “Health Impacts of Germany’s Proposed Coal Power Plant Emissions Limits” addresses the health impacts of air pollutant emissions from German power plants under the emission limits currently being proposed by the government, and under two alternative scenarios applying more stringent limits.
This briefing “A New Coal Boom in China” shows that the slowing down of new coal plant developments in China has come to an end. The Chinese coal industry has been steadily increasing its plans for new coal plants, since the government started relaxing restrictions on coal developments in 2019. Now, the capacity under development is larger than the entire coal fleets of countries such as the USA or India.
The report “Impact of COVID-19 led lockdown on Air Pollution Levels in Bengaluru” analyses the local air quality data from 26 locations in Bengaluru, India and looks at local sources of pollution to understand variations and linkages in pollution levels and sources of pollution before and during the COVID-19 led lockdown.
This analysis was completed by CREA, for the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GHCA). GCHA and HEAL support the Healthy Air Coalition Bengaluru, as part of a global health sector initiative advocating for clean air in cities in 2030. The Healthy Air Coalition has set up a network of 30 air quality monitors across the city to provide publicly accessible data to assess the health burden of air pollution in Bengaluru, and drive measures for improving air quality.
Four new coal plant projects are planned in the Iskenderun Bay area, with the EMBA Hunutlu project being the closest to coming into existence. This 2 x 660 MW coal plant in Turkey, combined with the prevailing power plants, will put thousands of people at risk of breathing polluted air. The brief “Air Quality and Health Impacts of the Proposed EMBA Hunutlu Coal Power Project” evaluates many more health impacts of this project.
A massive cluster of coal-fired power plants, with a total of 8 power plants and a total capacity of 9.8 gigawatts is being proposed in Payra, Bangladesh, making it the second-largest in South Asia and fourth-largest in the world. The report “Air quality, health and toxics impacts of the proposed coal power cluster in Payra, Bangladesh” assesses the impacts of these power plants on air quality, public health and fisheries.
In “How air pollution worsens the COVID-19 pandemic“, we evaluate the impacts that past and current exposure to air pollution is having on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Air pollution is linked to respiratory infections and increases the risk of asthma, heart disease, hypertension and lung cancer, all of which are all pre-existing conditions that worsen the symptoms of COVID-19.
The global coal fleet grew by 34 gigawatts in 2019. However, for the fourth consecutive year, the number of new coal power developments decreased in 2019. More information on this topic in the report “Boom and Bust 2020: Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline”, which was prepared in collaboration with three other organizations.
“Quantifying the Economic Costs of Air Pollution from Fossil Fuels” is the first study to assess the global economic burden caused by air pollution from fossil fuels, estimating the costs at US$2.9 trillion in 2018, or 3.3% of global GDP, far exceeding the likely costs of rapid reductions in fossil fuel use.
CREA analysis of China’s air pollution trends, progress and setbacks in 2019. We found the Beijing and Shanghai regions have seen big improvements in air quality this winter while average air pollution levels in the rest of the country rebounded. Read more in our new analysis based on air quality data from 1,500 official air quality monitoring stations.
A study on the air quality, toxic and health impacts of the Turow coal power plant, the second most polluting industrial facility in Poland. A large number of people are exposed to harmful air pollutants and mercury due to emissions from the power plant and the lignite mine. These facilities were also the cause of an estimated 120 premature deaths.