China: Leading the Push Against Air Pollution When China was announced in March this year as the host for 2019 World Environment Day, Joyce Msuya, acting director of UN Environment and assistant to the UN’s Secretary General, praised China for the progress it has made in battling air pollution. “The country has demonstrated tremendous leadership in tackling air pollution domestically. It can now help spur the world to greater action. Air pollution is a global emergency affecting everyone. China will now be leading the push and stimulating global action to save millions of lives,” she said. Air pollution has become one of the biggest threats to human health, with nine out of ten people worldwide exposed to air pollutants that exceed safe levels as set by the World Health Organisation. More than seven million people die prematurely because of air pollution, with four million of these in the Asia-Pacific region. “Millions of people die prematurely every year from complications caused by polluted air. Air pollution impacts the most vulnerable in our society and threatens future generations by warming our planet. This World Environment Day the world must make a commitment to improving air quality everywhere. We have the solutions. We must act now,” said Helena Molin Valdés the head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, part of the UN Environment Program. There are many causes of air pollution. While coal burning industry and power stations are being gradually phased out in many countries, diesel generators are a growing concern in off-grid, rural areas and air pollution from transport is linked to 400,000 premature deaths each year.
14th May 2019
12th August 2019