The World Bank released the 2015 edition of the 'Little Green Data Book,' its annual compilation of environment data.
The latest edition includes new indicators for measuring air pollution, and demonstrates that it represents a significant cost to the economy and a risk to sustainability, which should be addressed by public health policy and national planning.
16 June 2015: The World Bank released the 2015 edition of the ‘Little Green Data Book,’ its annual compilation of environment data. The latest edition includes new indicators for measuring air pollution, and demonstrates that it represents a significant cost to the economy and a risk to sustainability, which should be addressed by public health policy and national planning.
The Little Green Data Book provides key environmental data for over 200 economies, based on the World Development Indicators 2015 and its online database. Over 50 indicators are used, organized into categories on: agriculture; forests and biodiversity; oceans; energy and emissions; water and sanitation; environment and health; and national accounting aggregates. Data is presented for the regions of East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The 2015 edition uses two new air pollution indicators: mean annual exposure to suspended particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5); and percentage of total population exposed to PM2.5 pollution above the World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines (AQG) value of an annual average of 10 microns per cubic meter. Previous editions used indicators focused on the larger particulates (PM10) and only on urban centers with more 100,000 persons.
Also incorporated this year are estimates of the economic costs of air pollution, including household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.
The Book notes that population-weighted exposure to PM2.5 increased globally as much as 10% between 1990 and 2010, worsening particularly in East Asia and Pacific and South Asia regions, and that 84% of the world’s population now lives in areas exceeding the WHO AQG for PM2.5.
WHO estimates that ambient and household air pollution now claim the lives of more than seven million people annually, 90% of which are in low- and middle-income countries. Utilizing the “adjusted net saving” framework, the Bank estimates that global death and disability from air pollution totaled more than US$161 billion in 2010, including US$89 billion in low- and middle-income countries. [World Bank Press Release] [Publication: The Little Green Data Book 2015]