Following the international community’s increasing interest in clean air, and emphasizing the need to make further efforts to improve air quality to protect human health, the United Nations General Assembly has designated 7 September as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.
Last year, the first-ever International Day of Clean Air for blue skies with the rights-based theme of “Clean Air for All” was launched. The report on the launch and celebration from last year can be viewed here.
“Air pollution is a global problem, which impacts human health, planetary health and climate change,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. We need to ensure that clean air is available to all, regardless of geography or socioeconomic status. To do that, the world will need to take decisive, urgent action.”
Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to global public health, it is estimated that 92 percent of the population is exposed to polluted air causing an estimated seven million premature deaths each year. Polluted air particularly impacts children, women and the elderly, with increased links to diseases such as dementia, diabetes, COVID-19, cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
Developed countries have greatly improved their air quality in recent years but many developing countries, still reliant on wood and other solid fuels for cooking and heating, lag behind. The result is that many vulnerable and marginalized persons also suffer from the worst air quality.
“As the world starts to emerge from COVID-19, we have the opportunity to lay the foundations for a green, inclusive recovery to ensure that we don’t lose the environmental gains we have made,” said Andersen.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” which emphasizes the health effects of air pollution, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Day aims to prioritize the need for healthy air for all while keeping conversations broad enough to encompass other critical issues such as climate change, human and planetary health as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. It serves as a rallying call to action to collectively align efforts and claim the right to clean air.
Business Review also launches an invitation at the Environmental & Sustainability Summit, September 28-29 at JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel, for the only two-day sustainability conference in Romania, where top speakers, professionals, and officials will make the case for a cleaner and healthier way of living and doing business! Join us HERE