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Corona crisis shows how fossil fuels pollute the air

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World Health Day warns to switch to renewable energies

St. Pölten, April 7th, 2020: On today's World Health Day, IG Windkraft is pointing out that many human lives could be saved with renewable energies. In Europe alone, around 400,000 people die each year as a result of burning natural gas, oil and coal, according to a recent study. "The rapid expansion of wind turbines and the closure of fossil power plants, as well as the switch to electromobility must now be implemented after the Corona crisis," demands Stefan Moidl, Managing Director of IG Windkraft: "Right now you can see how clean the air could be if we do without even some of the combustion of natural gas, crude oil and coal. "

World Health Day was launched in 1948 by the World Health Organization and is celebrated worldwide on April 7th today. In times of the corona pandemic, all eyes are on health. The fact that air pollution is caused to a great extent by the burning of natural gas, crude oil and coal is something that many have again become aware of, at the latest through the strong improvement in air quality through the measures taken against the corona virus. "It is important to keep these experiences in mind in order to take the right measures after the Corona crisis so that the good air quality can be maintained in post-Corona times," demands Moidl.

4.5 million deaths from fossil fuels

Studies repeatedly indicate that the use of natural gas, oil and coal costs the lives of millions of people. The recently published study by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) estimates 4.5 million deaths worldwide. In the European Union alone, the study authors assume around 400,000 deaths. Globally, there are also 1.8 billion lost working days per year caused by air pollution from fossil fuels. In total, this creates around 7.5 billion euros in costs for society, which corresponds to 3.3 percent of global gross domestic product. The study authors also point out that switching to renewable energies could prevent a large proportion of the deaths.

Energy generation must become renewable

In Austria today around a third of electricity generation and two thirds of total energy consumption are provided by natural gas, crude oil and coal. “The faster we can switch to renewable energies here, the more deaths we can prevent. By the way, we also create climate protection and thus preserve the basis of life for the next generation, ”Moidl notes.
In contrast to natural gas, crude oil and coal, wind turbines do not generate any exhaust gases or wastewater when generating energy. Wind turbines create more jobs than gas-fired power plants, are cheaper than any coal-fired power plant, and wind power can be generated in Austria and does not have to be imported into Austria from crisis regions. According to Bloomberg New Energy and Finance, wind and solar power are the cheapest way to generate electricity in two-thirds of the world. “On Health Day, you should look back at how many advantages renewable energies have. Both in terms of costs and domestic added value, but especially in terms of health, renewable energies have the edge, "says Moidl:" The end of natural gas, crude oil and coal must begin now and must not come the future will be postponed. "

Consultation notice

Mag. Martin Jaksch-Fliegenschnee
Mobile: +43 660 20 50 755
[email protected]

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