In a year of presidential candidates promising to slash funding for the EPA, or abolish it outright, the OECD has released its “Environmental Outlook to 2050,” showing the deadly consequences of our increasingly hands-off approach to clean air.
According to the OECD’s report, air pollution is expected to kill more than 6 million people per year by 2050, outstripping malaria, unsafe drinking water, and poor sanitation, even in wealthier countries like the U.S.
The EPA is currently under attack for putting into place standards for mercury pollution and other air toxics. Despite a 20-year vetting process for the mercury pollution standards and overwhelming support from the medical and scientific community, opponents of the standards call the EPA’s rulings expensive and destructive. To the contrary, the EPA estimates its new standards will save 11,000 lives a year by 2016, and deliver $36 billion to $89 billion in health benefits savings.