In a recent article published by Clean Air Fund, four experts discuss why an international convention for air pollution is essential to combat the issue. Most importantly, however, Clean Air Fund also discusses the importance of involving low- and middle-income countries in the convention.
Although many of us don’t realise it, there is already a convention playing a big role in combating air pollution. The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) has brought together 51 countries in the northern hemisphere (mainly in North America and Europe) and prevented an estimated 600,000 deaths per year in Europe alone.
However, while this convention has seen a significant success in reducing harmful emissions in Europe by 30-80% and North America by 30-40%, air pollution is still causing severe issues in other areas of the world - particularly in low and middle-income countries.
Where developed countries are generally seeing a decrease in air pollution (at least in regards to particulate pollution), rapidly developing and urbanising countries are seeing increasing levels of air pollution from polluting energy sources and other infrastructure.
So, what can be done to target air pollution globally? Well, as Clean Air Fund discusses, the CLRTAP has already successfully fostered international collaboration in combating air pollution. However, the convention only includes countries located in the northern hemisphere and mostly consists of wealthy countries.
What is needed is a larger convention including more countries. Air pollution is a global issue and easily crosses borders. As such, a truly global coalition or agreement is needed - a group with the technical and scientific expertise to act against air pollution and lower it effectively.
To achieve this, Clean Air Fund proposes the following steps: fostering international collaboration, committing to global targets, combining expertise in science and policy, and aligning and boosting funding. To read more about each step, please feel free to read the article on Clean Air Fund.