01 SEP 2020
10 Key Facts around International Day of clean air for blue skies
The UN has designated September 7 as the International Day of clean air for blue skies, with short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) among those pollutants most linked with both adverse health effects and near-term warming of the planet.
SLCPs can persist in the atmosphere for a few days or a few decades, so reducing them can have an almost immediate health and climate benefits for those living in places where levels fall.
These pollutants are responsible for about one-third of deaths from stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer, as well as one quarter of heart attack deaths. Ground-level ozone, produced from the interaction of many different pollutants in sunlight, can also cause asthma and chronic respiratory illnesses.
Аir pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally, with an estimated 6.5 million premature deaths across the world in 2016 attributed to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
Air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and the elderly, especially in low-income populations as they are often exposed to high levels of ambient air pollution and indoor air pollution from cooking and heating with wood fuel and kerosene.
Society bears a high cost of air pollution due to the negative impacts on the economy, work productivity, healthcare costs and tourism, among others.
In the absence of aggressive intervention, the number of premature deaths resulting from ambient air pollution is estimated to increase by more than 50 percent by 2050.
UN Member States recognize the need to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination by 2030, as well as to reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management by 2030.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlines a road map to achieving sustainable development, environmental protection and prosperity for all, recognizes that air pollution abatement is important to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Countries have committed to promoting sustainable development policies that support healthy air quality in the context of sustainable cities and human settlements