More international aid goes to fossil fuel projects than pollution – study

Governments around the world have provided 20% more for offshore oil projects in 2019 and 2020 than in programs to reduce air pollution.

Dirty air is the world’s biggest environmental killer, causing at least 4m deaths per year. However, according to an analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), only 1% of the world’s development aid will be used to deal with the crisis.

Air pollution kills more people than if combined with HIV / AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, but such health problems make a lot of money, the report said. In terms of lost years, HIV / AIDS projects received 34 times more funding, and malnutrition programs received seven times more. Experts say raising money to the same level to combat air pollution will save many lives.

Funding for air quality projects is also very poor in middle-income Asian countries, with many of the most polluted cities receiving only 15% of the total in Africa and Latin America. For example, Mongolia, which lost an estimated 2,260 people to air pollution in 2019, earned $ 437 million (6 316 million) in 2015-2020, while Nigeria, which lost 70,150 lives due to air pollution, earned only $ 250,000.

Jane Burston of Caf described the situation as “crazy and shocking.”

Air pollution is a major health problem, but many pollution-reducing projects help to limit climate change because they reduce fossil fuels. There can also be great victories for equality, because everywhere in the world the poor are most affected by air pollution.

Inger Anderson, head of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), said air quality funding is not commensurate with the scale of the problem: Completing fossil fuels financing and investing in clean, carbon-free economies instead provides immediate benefits. It saves many lives. ”

The CAF report stated that the air quality improvement goals for both projects and air pollution were cut off due to other factors such as renewable energy or clean transport initiatives, including better city buses in Peru. Most of the funding for fossil fuels came from South Africa’s power plants, including Mudupi coal.

Nearly $ 6 billion has been donated to air quality programs from 2015-2020, 45 percent of which goes to China, which has reduced air pollution by 29 percent over the past seven years. Mongolia, the Philippines, and Pakistan were the next major recipients. India was the eighth country to die more than 1 meter per year from air pollution.

More than 500,000 people die each year from air pollution in Africa and Latin America. But they receive only 5% and 10%, respectively, according to the report. Africa is a country where pollution can increase due to rapid urbanization. Therefore, he said, there is a good chance that air pollution will be tolerated there before the catastrophic extinction.

“We are not saying that malnutrition, water and sanitation and HIV / AIDS projects should have less money. These deaths are being reduced to a minimum due to high funding, but air pollution is not at the same level.

The report recommends raising financial standards, halting all new fossil fuel investments, and giving priority to air pollution for development assistance.

“Every year, pollution kills millions of people around the world,” says Rosamund Adu-Kisi-Debra, an advocate for health and air quality. Her son Ella Kisi-Debra She died in 2013 at the age of 9, and air pollution was officially blamed.

“My son’s case has helped to raise awareness of these devastating consequences,” she said. “But advocates cannot do it alone. Donors play a vital role in providing support for the fight for fresh air.

A separate report from UNICEF states that one-third of the world has no legal restrictions on air pollution, and in those countries the limits are often weaker than WHO guidelines.

Another analysis estimates that in Syria, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, northern Macedonia, and Montenegro, at least 12,000 people died in Europe as a result of violations of the law. The 18 Balkan power plants in the West Balkans emit more than half and a half of the 221 coal mines in the European Union.

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