OECD: Air pollution to cost economies $2.6tn per year by 2060

Air pollution could cost economies $2.6 trillion (£1.7tn) annually by 2060. That’s 1% of global GDP, according to a report by OECD. It estimates global economic output will equate to […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Air pollution could cost economies $2.6 trillion (£1.7tn) annually by 2060.

That’s 1% of global GDP, according to a report by OECD.

It estimates global economic output will equate to around $330 (£224) per person as annual healthcare costs related to pollution could rise from $21 billion (£14.2bn) last year to $176 billion (£119.6bn) in the next 44 years.

The OECD projects the biggest GDP losses in China, Russia, India, Korea and countries in Eastern Europe and the Caspian region.

Its report adds air pollution could cause six to nine million premature deaths a year in the same period.

The biggest rises in mortality rates would be in India, China, Korea and Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan, OECD states.

Environment Director Simon Upton said: “The number of lives cut short by air pollution is already terrible and the potential rise in the next few decades is terrifying. If this is not motivation enough to act, this report shows there will also be a heavy economic cost to not taking action. We must prevent these projections from becoming reality.”