REVIEW ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
In this paper, the principal environmental and health impacts of energy are discussed according to the scale at which they occur. About half of the world’s households use solid fuels (biomass and coal) for cooking and heating in simple devices that produce large amounts of air pollution—pollution that is probably responsible for 4–5 percent of the global burden of disease. At the workplace scale, solid-fuel fuel cycles create significant risks for workers and have the largest impacts on populations among energy systems. In communities, fuel use is the main cause of urban air pollution, though there is substantial variation among cities in the relative contributions of vehicles and stationary sources. The chief ecosystem impacts relate to charcoal production and fuelwood harvesting. There are important opportunities for ‘no regrets’ strategies that achieve benefits at more than one scale. For example, if greenhouse gas controls are targeted to reduce solid fuel use in households and other energy systems with large health impacts (such as vehicle fleets), significant improvements can occur at the local, community, regional, and global scales.