Premature deaths and health problems from air pollution cost China as much as $US300 billion ($A329.34 billion) a year, an official report says, calling for a new urbanisation model for the world's second-largest economy.

“As China prepares for the next wave of urbanisation, addressing environmental and resource constraints will become increasingly more urgent because much of China’s pollution is concentrated in its cities,” said the joint report by the World Bank and the Development Research Centre of the State Council, China’s cabinet. High mortality…