Each year air pollution from burning coal leads to the early deaths of 1,600 Brits.
That’s according to a new report released by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), which said every 12 months coal-fired plants were responsible for around 360,000 extra sick days and more than a million cases of lower respiratory symptoms in the UK.
HEAL said the yearly cost to Britain was £1.1 billion to £3.1 billion.
The report has been released ahead of tomorrow’s debate in the Commons on whether a House of Lords amendment to the energy bill – setting emissions targets for old coal-fired plants – should be upheld.
Genon Jensen, Executive Director at HEAL said: “The time is now ripe to bring the health facts and figures into national debates and cost assessments. Wednesday’s vote in the UK offers a unique opportunity to cash in huge health co-benefits.”
Andrew Mackintosh, Communications Director for UK Coal described HEAL as an anti-coal lobbying organisation and said the report was biased attempt at scaremongering that selectively quoted scientific evidence.
He said: “The report highlights poor air quality in Europe’s urban areas but this has little to do with emissions from coal,” and added “It is odd that these lobbyists have targeted coal-fired power stations when over 95% of the estimated impacts are due to emissions from other sources, such as transport.”