Air pollution cost is ‘€100bn a year’
AIR pollution is costing the French economy almost €100billion a year – about a third of Greece’s debt – according to a report by senators due to be published later today.
The study, based on interviews with 70 experts, economists, industry leaders and government ministers, was commissioned after a series of smog alerts in Paris in March.
It says 42,000 premature deaths in France are linked to poor air quality – whether through asthma, cancer or cardiovascular problems.
The study says air pollution can also be linked to 650,000 days off work each year and puts a strain on the French healthcare system.
It also having an effect on buildings, with an estimated €4billion a year spent on cleaning façades that have become stained by pollution. French agriculture is also suffering, with lower crop yields.
Today’s report lists 60 recommendations, including more fuel duty on diesel to bring its price in line with petrol within five years.
The senators say a working group should be set up to develop the electric buses of the future – and towns and cities should have more initiatives to promote the use of green vehicles.
Paris is leading the way, with a ban on the most polluting cars and buses from this autumn.