Vital Strategies joins the Climate and Clean Air Coalition

Vital Strategies is the 47th Non-Government Organisation to join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) welcomes Vital Strategies as the newest partner in the global effort to reduce dangerous air and climate pollutants. The Coalition is excited to work with an organization devoted to partnering with governments to rapidly design and implement public health initiatives that bridge the gap between public health needs and solutions.

In joining the Coalition, Vital Strategies’ Senior Vice President of Environmental Health, Daniel Kass said: “As a global public health organization, Vital Strategies recognizes that addressing air pollution can achieve a range of health and climate co-benefits, especially for vulnerable populations. We are pleased to support the mission of CCAC accelerating action on short-lived climate pollutants which promises great benefits for health, air quality, and climate change mitigation.”

Vital Strategies has met with governments and civil society groups in Mumbai, Delhi, Jakarta, Colombo, Shanghai, and Singapore to develop partnerships and identify projects that improve air quality surveillance and accelerate clean fuel conversion. Of particular concern is Southeast Asia, where air pollution is worsening because of the growing population, expanding energy use and extensive forest burning. As it travels across borders, this pollution also threatens neighboring countries.

As a global public health organisation, Vital Strategies recognises that addressing air pollution can achieve a range of health and climate co-benefits, especially for vulnerable populations.
Daniel Kass
Senior Vice President of Environmental Health, Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is working to assess the health impacts of air pollution, increase public awareness of its harms and its potential solutions, and explore engagement with the finance sector to create development “impact bonds” that will incentivize sustainable practices in the palm oil industry, a major source of regional air pollution.

Vital Strategies looks forward to actively engaging with CCAC’s Urban Health Initiative and its BreatheLife Campaign, and plans to focus its efforts on:

  • Strengthening health ministry capacity to improve and use data, engage across sectors and promote action on SLCPs for health co-benefits
  • Applying the tools of strategic communication and advocacy proven effective in other public health areas to inform and activate civil society and governments.
  • Developing champions for air pollution and health, with a focus on health professionals and clinician voices

Helena Molin Valdés, Head of the UN Environment hosted CCAC Secretariat, said Vital Strategies track record and experience in providing solutions to pressing public health needs, especially in low- and middle- income countries, will enhance the Coalition’s work going forward.

“Air pollution is the greatest environmental health risk we face today,” Ms Molin Valdes said. “Vital Strategies is an important new partner with proven success across a number of important public health campaigns. Their contribution will greatly enhance the Coalition’s efforts to save lives, protect our climate, and improve the quality of life and livelihoods of millions of people.”

After making major progress on global health issues like tobacco control, road traffic safety, and data for health, Vital Strategies is now applying their tested approaches to environmental health to ensure healthy and sustainable outcomes for people living in an increasingly urbanized world. The organization will work across sectors to promote health in four key areas: controlling air pollution (from all leading sources), mitigating and preparing for climate change, reducing exposures to toxic chemicals, and expanding healthy and green transportation.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is the only global partnership committed to catalyzing concrete, substantial action to reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants. These pollutants, which include methane, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are powerful climate forcers and some are also dangerous air pollutants that significantly contribute to premature death and chronic illness globally. However, because of their short lifespan in the atmosphere (from weeks to decades), actions to reduce them provide quick results for air quality, the climate, and development.

The Coalition has 11 initiatives working to raise awareness, mobilize resources and lead transformative actions in key sectors. Coalition measures to reduce short-lived climate pollutants can directly prevent up to 2.4 million premature deaths a year and help avoid up to half a degree Celsius of additional warming by 2050.  These actions must go hand in hand with deep and persistent cuts to carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases in order to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

About Vital Strategies:

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat

For further information or to arrange an interview with a Vital Strategies public health expert, please contact press@vitalstrategies.org.

For further information or to arrange an interview with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, please contact tiy.chung@un.org

Expert assistance

Our Expert Assistance is a no-cost service that connects you to an extensive network of professionals for consultation and advice on a range of short-lived climate pollution issues and policies.  

Experts will provide guidance on technological options, mitigation measures (like those carried out by our initiatives), funding opportunities, application of measurement tools, and policy development.

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