Coal’s True Cost: 100,000+ Deaths A Year In India

Along with China, India is leading the world in new coal fired power plants. Meanwhile the Conservation Action Trust says...

As many as 115,000 people die in India each year from coal-fired power plant pollution, costing the country about $4.6 billion, according to a groundbreaking new study released today.

Indian coal power plants kill 120,000 people a year, says Greenpeace
Greenpeace puts the mortality higher, at 120,000 people a year.

New Delhi children take anti-smog precautions
New Delhi children take anti-smog precautions. Photograph: Sanjeev Verma/Getty

India's breakneck pace of industrialisation is causing a public health crisis with 80-120,000 premature deaths and 20m new asthma cases a year due to air pollution from coal power plants, a Greenpeace report warns.

The first study of the health impact of India's dash for coal, conducted by a former World Bank head of pollution, says the plants cost hospitals $3.3-$4.6bn (£2.2-£3.1bn) a year — a figure certain to rise ...

India is the world's second largest coal burner after China, generating 210 GW of electricity a year, mostly from coal. But it is likely to become the largest if plans to generate a further 160 GW annually are approved.

... there is barely any regulation or inspection of pollution.

Does this make economic sense when solar power in India is now cost competitive with coal power?

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Replies to This Discussion

Ruth, about the 120,000 deaths per year and the health care costs for those who survive:

What are the responsible decision makers in India doing?

The environmental degradation in the urban photo above looks much like the degradation I saw when I spent one day in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the late 1950s.

What are the responsible decision makers in India doing?

As far as I can tell they're building even more coal power plants as fast as they can.

Proposed new coal power plants in India




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