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.