HEI undertook the Global Burden of Disease from Major Air Pollution Sources (GBD-MAPS) project to determine which air pollution sources or fuels contribute most to outdoor PM2.5 concentrations and their associated health burden. The study provides the first comprehensive estimates at global, regional and national levels, which can help inform policy.
A variety of results identified energy generation (including both electricity and residential cooking and heating) as the largest source sector. Combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) contributed to an estimated one million deaths globally in 2017 and 800,000 of those deaths were in South Asia or East Asia. Fossil fuel combustion accounted for 27.3% of all deaths from outdoor PM2.5. Of that percentage, 50% was due to coal and the other 50% to a combination of liquid fuel and gas.