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European policymakers like to lecture the rest of the world on air pollution.When it comes to air pollution, however, Europe might consider doing less talking and more listening.Air pollution is a growing concern across Europe. The World Health Organization has called it the continent's "single largest environmental health risk," estimating that 90 percent of Europe's citizens are exposed to outdoor pollution that exceeds WHO air-quality guidelines. In 2010, some 600,000 European citizens died prematurely because of outdoor and indoor air pollution, and the economic costs have been put at $1.6 trillion, roughly 9 percent of the European Union's GDP.To be sure, air pollution levels in Asia are truly worrisome.By 2017, Beijing – once dubbed "Greyjing" – will spend some $121 billion to combat air pollution.When it comes to air pollution, however, Europe's policymakers should stop preaching to others and focus on fixing their own problems.
lead the way
on air pollution
China and India are showing us the urgency of urban planning
The next decade promises a host of water-related problems
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