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Die wahren Kosten der Luftverschmutzung

PARIS – Die Luftverschmutzung verkürzt das Leben der Menschen um Jahre. Sie verursacht beträchtliches Leid unter Erwachsenen und Kindern gleichermaßen. Und sie beeinträchtigt die Lebensmittelproduktion, und das in einer Zeit, in der wir mehr Menschen ernähren müssen als je zuvor. Dies ist nicht bloß eine wirtschaftliche Frage, sondern auch eine moralische.

Luftverschmutzung lässt sich sowohl im Freien als auch innerhalb von Gebäuden hervorrufen. Für die ärmsten Familien ist durch kohle- oder dungbefeuerte Herde verursachter Smog innerhalb des Hauses in der Regel problematischer. Wenn sich Volkswirtschaften weiterentwickeln und ihre Elektrifizierung, Motorisierung und Urbanisierung einsetzt, wird die Außenluftverschmutzung das schwerwiegendere Problem.

Es gibt umweltfreundliche Technologien, die das Potenzial haben, die Luftqualität erheblich zu verbessern. Aber die Politik konzentriert sich in kurzfristiger Weise auf die Kosten der erforderlichen Maßnahmen statt auf die Kosten der Untätigkeit. Dieser Ansatz ist untragbar angesichts der Tatsache, dass Wirtschaftswachstum und steigende Energienachfrage in den kommenden Jahrzehnten einen stetigen Anstieg der Luftschadstoffemissionen und rasch steigende Feinstaub- und Ozonkonzentrationen verursachen werden.

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