Hidden Price Tags – How ending fossil fuel subsidies would benefit our health (HEAL)

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The burning of fossil fuels is driving climate change with disastrous consequences all over the world. But it also has major impacts on our health. Production and use of oil, coal and gas results in the release of hazardous air pollution which impacts people’s health in many ways. Every year fossil fuel combustion cuts short the lives of an estimated 6.5 million people worldwide because of respiratory infections, strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer and chronic lung disease. Despite a growing awareness of the climate and health harm caused by fossil fuels, and high-level commitments to lead the world on to a decarbonization path, governments around the world continue to provide billions worth of public funds to support the production of oil, gas and coal. This report by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) brings together the health costs arising from fossil fuel use and contrasts them with subsidies paid by G20 governments for coal, oil and gas production. In addition, the report provides some compelling, tangible examples of alternative investments in health promoting social policies that could be achieved by re-allocating fossil fuel subsidies. The report is available to download on HEAL’s website.