Health professionals worldwide are calling on the G7 nations to accelerate the transition away from coal-fired electricity.
A total of 82 organisations, representing more than 300,000 doctors, nurses and professionals in the health sector from 30 countries, have written to the world’s seven largest economies.
They highlight the health benefits and savings brought by eliminating pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Air pollution is responsible for around 3.7 million premature deaths per year and coal plants are responsible for a significant share of these impacts, they state.
Coal-fired power plants are also a major source of mercury, which accumulates through the aquatic food chain and adversely affects the central nervous system, particularly for children exposed prenatally, the professionals add.
They state renewables, energy storage and efficiency are the alternatives to coal power that reduce negative health impacts.
The statement goes on: “Eliminating air pollution from coal-fired power plants provides immediate and significant air pollution related health benefits and health care savings. A coal phase-out also slows climate change, thereby reducing current and future illnesses and deaths from heat waves, droughts, malnutrition, flooding, air pollution and wildfires.”
Last year the UK Government announced it aims to close all coal-fired plants in the country by 2025.