Clean Air Fund recently released an article discussing the current trends for funding air quality improvements. Among the trends are some rather interesting information showing why air pollution isn’t being tackled as quickly or effectively as it needs to be.
The first trend the Clean Air Fund identified is that there is little funding for air pollution. Out of the total funding that goes towards international development, only 11 billion (0.5%) is spent on improving air quality. On top of this, less than 0.1% of philanthropic spending is put toward air pollution. While this amount increased in 2021, it’s still much lower than needed.
The second trend Clean Air Fund identified is that fossil fuel attracts more money than air quality, stifling progress toward cleaner air. While two-thirds of all (outdoor) air pollution deaths are attributable to fossil fuels, international development funding is still going towards fossil-fuel-based projects.
Thirdly, only a few funders internationally are putting funding towards air pollution. Ten funders provide 98% of the total air quality funding (as of 2019 - 2020). Further, out of the funding given, only 6% was in the form of grants - needed for low-income countries to benefit from the funds.
Fourth, Arica, Latin America, and much of Asia (specifically lower-income countries) are being left behind in funding. The majority of funding is given to countries such as the U.S, China, and India, and little is left for the rest of the world - especially the lower and middle-income countries. Considering that Africa, Latin America and (non-funded) parts of Asia house around half of the global population, this is a major issue.
Finally, out of financing that is put towards climate issues, very little is targeted specifically at air pollution. Only 2.2% of climate finance was targeted at air pollution. However, as mentioned by Clean Air Fund, air pollution and climate change have the same root causes, so climate finance is a fantastic opportunity to provide cleaner air worldwide.
After identifying these five key air pollution funding trends, Clean Air Fund provides recommendations for funders. If you’re interested in learning about these, you can read more about them on the website.