UN announces Clean Air Initiative ahead of climate summit

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Ahead of the upcoming 2019 Climate Action Summit, UN organizations have announced the Clean Air Initiative, calling on governments to commit to achieving air quality that is safe for citizens.

The United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Climate and Clean Air Coalition announced called on governments at all levels to join the Initiative, and to align climate change and air pollution policies by 2030.

The initiative asks governments to take specific actions including implementing e-mobility and sustainable mobility policies and actions with the aim of making a decisive impact on road transport emissions.

UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit Luis Alfonso de Alba said that the climate crisis and the air pollution crisis are driven by the same factors and must be tackled by joint actions.

Governments at all levels have both an urgent need and huge opportunity not only to address the climate crisis, but also to improve the health and save the lives of millions of people around the world, all while making progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, said de Alba.

According to WHO, each year, air pollution causes 7 million premature deaths, of which 600,000 are children.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is convening the Climate Action Summit in New York in September. The initiative has been developed as part of the Social and Political Drivers Action Area of the 2019 Climate Action Summit.