Get ready to breathe easier on the International Day of Clean Air

International News (IPCA) 07, Sep 2022 | 01 : 15 AM | IST

September 7 — a time to recognise the amount of work that must be done to reduce the effects of smog, smoke, airborne chemicals like excessive CO₂, and other forms of harmful air pollution. It’s estimated that about seven million people worldwide die from diseases related to unclean air each year. And according to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, nine out of ten people regularly breathe polluted air.


n a document compiled and presented at the U.N.’s 74th General Assembly and adopted on December 19, 2019, the following text addresses clean air, which is only a tiny part of the whole resolution. “…[C]lean air is important for the health and day-to-day lives of people … [and] air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally.”

The resolution also stresses the importance of across-borders cooperation, since air pollution does not respect political boundaries, and it emphasizes that green solutions like electric and hybrid cars are becoming more and more affordable. World leaders have enthusiastically recognized the day and its meaning.

Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, was quoted in September of 2020 as saying, “I am very pleased to celebrate the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, which was adopted at the UN General Assembly last year. I hope this event [will] help enhance global public awareness of … transboundary air pollution and provides [sic] an important milestone in the global efforts to harness solution-based actions for cleaner air.”

Heard ‘round the world

Across the globe on September 7, leaders mark the inaugural International Day of Clean Air with spoken addresses, publicity campaigns, and local initiatives to clean up the environment.

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