A new analysis by the World Bank reveals that Nigeria, India, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have the highest rates of extreme poverty and pollution.
Trillions of dollars are being thrown away on subsidies for agriculture, fishing, and fossil fuels when they could be used to combat climate change, according to the report “Detox Development: Repurposing Environmentally Harmful Subsidies.”
The report estimates that 716 million impoverished people live in locations with dangerously high air pollution.
80% of those exposed to harmful PM levels live in low- and middle-income nations, according to the report. Additionally, 716 million poor people (who make less than $1.90 USD per day) reside in regions with dangerously high air pollution levels.
It was also mentioned that India, Nigeria, and the Congo are home to around half of this population.
The distribution of poor individuals exposed to harmful or hazardous levels of pollution is significantly skewed, according to the research, with nearly half (48.5%) living in just three nations. The sheer number of extremely poor people exposed to dangerous levels of particulate matter is largest in India, where there are more than 202 million people, or 14.7% of the country’s total population.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is next, well behind Nigeria. The top 10 nations account for 67.8% of the overall incidence of extremely poor people worldwide who are exposed to dangerous PM concentrations.
“People say there isn’t money for climate, but there is—it’s just in the wrong places,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, Senior Managing Director of the World Bank, in a statement introducing the findings.
“We could work together to address many of the planet’s most pressing problems if we could repurpose the trillions of dollars being spent on wasteful subsidies and put them to better, greener uses.”