Every year, human activities are adding about 30 billion tonnes of CO 2 xvi into the atmosphere. The IPCC estimates that 26 per cent of this emission (about billion tonnes) is a direct consequence of electricity generation requirements. This is not really air pollution but it adds to the risk of climate change, which is exhibited in changing rainfall patterns, sea levels and temperatures, leading to food shortages, malnutrition, and disease alterations. The WHO estimates that about million people xvii lose their lives as a result of urban outdoor air pollution alone, and about 140,000 are causalities to adaptation challenges of climate change xviii . (Note: Additionally, about two million lives are lost due to indoor pollution, the primary victims being women, and children under the age of five.) Thus, the pollution caused by power generation activities, and the climate change associated with them, are directly or indirectly responsible for about 481,000 deaths every year. Comparatively, in the case of the worst civilian nuclear disaster ever at Chernobyl, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic radiation (UNSCEAR) predicted up to 4,000 cancer xix cases (often curable) due to the accident, besides 57 direct causalities. Unclean fossil energy is definitely not sustainable in the future. Moreover, fossil-based fuels are fast depleting, and their scarcity is inspiring geopolitical instabilities around the world.
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