Air Quality

Raw coal and biomass, the most polluting of all fuels, make up more than three-quarters of the total burned by Asia’s population—both urban and rural. The burning of these fuels is increasingly credited with playing a major role in damaging public health and in global warming. The health, social, and economic costs of pollution in Asia exceeds $75 billion annually, and the outlook is for a doubling of some of these energy-related pollutants within a quarter-century. There is an urgent need to analyze air pollution related risks that societies face, to quantify them, and to examine their policy significance. There is also a dire need to develop tools that can help decision makers at all levels prioritize their problems and find cost-effective solutions for improving public health.