Dhaka, July 27 (UNB) – The United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and Climate and Clean Air Coalition have announced the “Clean Air Initiative”, calling upon governments at all levels to join the initiative.
They made the call ahead of the upcoming 2019 Climate Action Summit to be held in New York on September 23.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has already called on all leaders to come to New York on the day with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally-determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next decade, and net zero emissions by 2050.
The “Clean Air Initiative” calls on national and subnational governments to commit to achieving air quality that is safe for citizens, and align climate change and air pollution policies by 2030, said a media release shared by the UN office here on Saturday.
According to WHO, each year, air pollution causes 7 million premature deaths, of which 600,000 are children.
According to the World Bank, air pollution costs the global economy an estimated US$5.11 trillion in welfare losses, and in the 15 countries with the highest greenhouse gas emissions, health impacts of air pollution are estimated to cost more than 4 percent of GDP.
Meeting the Paris Agreement on climate change, however, could save over 1 million lives a year by 2050 and yield health benefits worth an estimated US$54.1 trillion – about twice the costs of mitigation – through reduced air pollution alone, the release added.