World Bank: Air Pollution Remains Leading Health Risk in Western Balkans   | Beta Briefing

World Bank: Air Pollution Remains Leading Health Risk in Western Balkans  

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 18.05.21 | access_time 16:24

Air pollution

People in the Western Balkans frequently breath some of the most polluted air in the world and air pollution remains the leading environmental risk factor contributing to the largest combined share of death and disability in the Western Balkans, while also producing environmental and economic impacts, it is said in a release published by the World Bank on May 17.

Therefore, over the last 15 years, the World Bank has invested more than USD250 million to improve energy efficiency and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions across the region, including initiatives to reduce overall heat demand, replace outdated firewood and coal boilers, and increase the use of more efficient lighting, according to the release.

“People living in Sarajevo, Skopje, Belgrade, and countless other cities throughout the Western Balkans frequently inhale some of the most polluted air in the world – particularly during the winter months, when pollutants from coal plants, residential heating, vehicles, industry, and other sources black-out the sun, pollute the environment, and create dangerous conditions for breathing,” it is said in the release.  

The World Bank recalled that “with 175 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019, Serbia topped a list of death rates from pollution among European countries and placed 9th overall on the global list – higher than India.” 

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