WHO report: Fossil fuels kill millions every year

The World Health Organization has urged governments to promote measures to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It noted that air pollution resulting from their use is killing millions of people every year.

The WHO released a special report on climate change and health on Monday. The move comes ahead of the opening of the UN climate conference known as COP26 in the UK city of Glasgow later this month.

The report said the burning of fossil fuels results in carbon dioxide emissions, which drive climate change, and the release of airborne pollutants known as PM 2.5, which is responsible for acute bronchitis and other ailments.

It noted that about 7 million people are being killed every year by air pollution. It stressed that reducing dependence on fossil fuels will have major health benefits.

The report says, "Governments and the private sector can support a green and healthy recovery from COVID-19," by "reforming energy subsidies so no public money goes to fossil fuel production" and other measures.

On Monday, a WHO official told reporters, "Our health is not negotiable." He said climate negotiations will take place, "but the life of a single child whether it is lost to air pollution or climate change is not something that should be on the table."