How the transition to renewable energy sources improves air quality.
Lady running
Air quality affects our health, the liveability of our cities and towns, and our environment.
Managing air quality is an ongoing challenge, especially as demand for energy and transport increases alongside population growth. The World Health Organisation calls air pollution the “world’s single biggest environmental health risk.” Air pollution can cause health problems that affect the heart and lungs and can cause cancer.

So what exactly is air pollution?
The Australian Academy of Science defines it as “air that contains gases, dusts, fumes, chemicals, particulates or odour in harmful amounts.” In Australia the number one cause of pollution is the burning of fossil fuels for transport and industrial processes. Our growing population, increased urbanisation, higher demands on transport (particularly air transport), energy consumption and use of wood-burning heaters all contribute to higher levels of air pollution. Every time someone uses fossil fuels, be that when they drive, they fly, or even when they boil the kettle, the carbon emissions released don’t just warm the planet, they pollute it too.

Coal-fired power stations are a big contributor to air pollution in Australia.
A five-year audit of Australia’s most comprehensive pollution data conducted by Environmental Justice Australia, highlights inaction on toxic air pollution from coal-fired power stations. Climate change is also predicted to affect air quality into the future. If emissions are not reduced, data modelling indicates that there will be significant increases in summer smog (ozone) after 2030, while an increase in the frequency of droughts would lead to a rise in particle air pollution because of more bushfires and wind-blown dust storms.

Compared to many countries around the world, Australia has a very high standard of air quality. Despite this, approximately 5,000 people die each year due to diseases associated with exposure to air pollution in our country. And that’s 5,000 too many.

There are ways as individuals we can help reduce the impact on air pollution.
By reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transportation, food and energy use, we can reduce the impact of climate change on health and reduce the amount of air pollution. Reducing air pollution means healthier people and a healthier environment.

Some solutions to reduce the amounts of pollutants released into our air include building safe and affordable public transport systems and making our cities more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. Other infrastructure measures such as improved waste management, clean and non-fossil fuel-based power generation and energy efficient buildings would make a huge impact. Industrial and agricultural activities can reduce waste incineration and the rural burning of vegetation. Additionally, we need to provide universal access to clean, affordable fuels and technologies for essential living activities such as cooking, heating and lighting.

Fresh air is vital to our survival.
We need to ensure that we take action to keep our air as clean as possible. At Radian Energy, our mission is to help power a renewable and sustainable future. As a signatory to the United Nation’s Climate Neutral Now Initiative, Radian Energy is committed to helping all people, organisations, and communities make the shift away from polluting fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. And when our customers can’t make the change to solar or batteries just yet and want to only buy grid supplied electricity from us instead, we invest in renewable infrastructure, land regeneration, and biodiversity corridors to offset the carbon emissions released on their behalf.

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