Industrial pollution in Europe ‘costs billions each year’
A new report from the European Environment Agency confirms what we already know: air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels brings enormous health and environmental costs. What is staggering, however, is the extent of these costs. In Europe alone, air pollution from the 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe cost citizens between € 102 and 169 billion in 2009. Half of the total damage cost (between € 51 and 85 billion) was caused by just 191 facilities.
When we hear about how clean energy cannot compete with the relatively low prices of oil, coal and gas without subsidies, remember that these health and environmental costs are not included in the prices that consumer pay. We simply pay for them later in health bills, premature deaths and environmental damages. If we paid the true cost of fossil fuels on society, there would be no contest. We would already be well on our way to a clean energy future.
You can read more about the report in this article from The Guardian.