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Correction: How much are we paying for air pollution?

13 September 2017 at 1:21 pm

Yesterday, we incorrectly referred to the annual cost of health impacts of coal from Eskom’s power stations as in excess of R30 trillion annually, through hospital admissions and lost working days. This figure is in fact R30 billion annually, as is evident from the footnote in our statement: $int2.37 billion annually converted at an exchange rate of ZAR12,78:USD1.

Today, Eskom told the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs that it estimates that it would cost Eskom R300 billion to fully comply with the minimum emission standards for air pollution.

In its presentation to the Portfolio Committee, environmental justice organisation groundWork argued that investing in air pollution controls is a no-brainer: in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency calculates that every $1 of investment in pollution control on average saves $25 in healthcare costs.

The Portfolio Committee was hosting an Air Quality Colloquium in Parliament today.