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close this bookEnergy after Rio - Prospects and Challenges - Executive Summary (UNDP, 1997, 38 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentForeword
View the documentNotes on the Authors and Contributors
View the documentAbstract
View the document1. Introduction
close this folder2. Energy and Major Global Issues
View the document(introduction...)
close this folder2.1 Energy and Social Issues
View the document2.1.1 Poverty
View the document2.1.2 Gender Disparity
View the document2.1.3 Population
View the document2.1.4 Undernutrition and Food
close this folder2.2 Energy and Environment
View the document2.2.1 Health
View the document2.2.2 Acidification
View the document2.2.3 Climate Change
View the document2.2.4 Land Degradation
close this folder2.3 Energy and the Economy
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.3.1 Investment Requirements of Energy
View the document2.3.2 Foreign Exchange Impacts of Energy Imports
close this folder2.4 Energy and Security
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.4.1 Energy and National Security
View the document2.4.2 Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation
View the document2.5 Energy and Global Issues: The Implications
close this folder3. New Opportunities in Energy Demand, Supply and Systems
View the document3.1 Introduction
View the document3.2 Demand Side: Energy and Energy-Intensive Materials Efficiency
View the document3.3 Supply Side: Renewables and Clean Fossil Fuel Technologies
View the document3.4 Fuels and Stoves for Cooking
close this folder4. Sustainable Strategies
View the document4.1 Global Energy Scenarios
View the document4.2 Implications for the Developing World
View the document4.3 Implications for Energy Exporting Economies
close this folder4.4 Some General Implications of Sustainable Energy Systems
View the document4.4.1 Energy and the Economy
View the document4.4.2 Energy and Poverty
View the document4.4.3 Creating Jobs
View the document4.4.4 Women
View the document4.4.5 Rural Development
View the document4.4.6 Urban Development
View the document4.4.7 Energy and the Environment
View the document4.4.8 Energy and Security
View the document4.5 Conclusions
View the document5. Making It Happen: Energy for Sustainable Development
View the documentGlossary of Abbreviations

2.2.1 Health

energy measures to contribute to the solution of under nutrition must be built into development strategies

The energy-health nexus arises because, without proper control, the production and use of energy can be accompanied by adverse impacts on the environment and, ultimately, on human health.

all megacities in developing countries have air pollution levels well above World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines

The combustion of fossil fuels is the largest source of atmospheric pollution involving sulphur and nitrogen oxides, heavy metals, unburned hydrocarbons, particulates and carbon monoxide, among other directly health-damaging pollutants. Such pollution arises, not only as a result of fossil fuel combustion in power plants and industry, but also from motor vehicles and households.

In urban environments, the transport sector is a major cause of the high levels of air pollution - gaseous pollutants and ultra-fine particulates emitted by petrol-powered vehicles, fine particulates emitted from poorly-maintained diesel engines, secondary (photochemical) pollutants such as ozone and the additional insidious pollutant, lead from traditional petrol use. Of these, suspended particulates are the major cause of concern to human health. All megacities in developing countries, and most industrialised countries, have air pollution levels well above the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. Furthermore, the situation is getting worse because of the high growth rates of vehicle fleets in the context of inadequate road infrastructure and growing urbanisation in many developing countries.

women and children have the highest exposures to indoor air pollution

Household use of biomass (and coal) results in greater human exposure to pollutants because emissions are high, ventilation is often poor, people are generally nearby at the time of use, and the affected populations are large. Significant health effects can thus be expected. The largest direct impacts would seem to be respiratory infections in children (an important class of disease) and chronic lung disease in women.

The energy-health nexus consists, therefore, of the fact that current energy utilisation patterns in rural households give rise to the problem of indoor air pollution affecting an increasing population and, in cities, to the growing problem of urban air pollution.