Without giving any further details about deaths due to pollution in India, Lagarde noted that environmental problems does not just end with climate change. The IMF Managing Director said she believes the world is facing economic, environmental and social crises.
The remarks are part of a prepared speech to be delivered at the Centre for Global Development on the topic 'Back to Rio -- the Road to a Sustainable Economic Future'.
"Environmental problems, of course, do not end with climate change. In India, for example, pollution from coal generation plants causes about 70,000 premature deaths a year," she said.
Wondering "what should we do?" Lagarde said the International Monetary Fund is not an environmental organisation. "But we cannot ignore the extensive human suffering and the misallocation of resources that lead us down the wrong path," Lagarde said.
According to her, the global economy is still rocked by turmoil, with uncertain prospects for growth and jobs. "The planet is warming rapidly, with unknown and possibly dire consequences down the line. Across too many societies, the gap between the haves and have-nots is getting wider and strains are getting fiercer," she said.
Stressing that climate change is clearly one of the great challenges of our time, Lagarde said it is a present reality for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.