The Clean Air Fund is a philanthropic initiative with a mission to tackle air pollution around the world. We bring together funders, researchers, policy makers and campaigners to find and scale solutions that will provide clean air for all.
Air pollution is one of the biggest public health issues we face globally – and it’s getting worse. It affects every cell and organ in the body. Every year, millions of adults and children die prematurely, develop life-threatening diseases or see their health affected by air pollution. Tackling the issue would improve and save countless lives. It would also inject urgency into the climate change agenda and help build sustainable, resilient economies.
The causes of climate change are often the same as the causes of air pollution: transport, the power sector, industrial emissions and crop burning. Improving air quality is a win for the planet as well as the people who live on it.
Things need to change, and fast. But it won’t happen through a single organisation or individual alone. Solutions are emerging, but are not being replicated or scaled quickly enough. More data, collaboration and learning are required to tackle the challenge with the speed and scale we need.
The Clean Air Fund was created to help make this happen. We launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in 2019, and have raised over $50m to date from funders focused on climate change, health, mobility and children.
We work in a number of ways. We assist current funders in their grant-making, and also provide direct grants and other kinds of support to organisations. Alongside this, we look to build and strengthen the clean air movement. We do this by finding, scaling and replicating winning solutions and arguments, sharing lessons, and improving evidence and understanding of the air quality challenge globally.
This means we back a range of interventions. Our portfolio includes air quality monitoring, assessing and communicating the health and economic impacts of pollution, supporting ambitious policymakers and campaigners, and getting the public and private sector on board. Our main criterion is the potential for demonstrable, scalable impact.
As of 2020, we work in India, the UK, and East and South East Europe. We have plans to expand to a region or country in Africa. Subject to funding, we expect to add a new geographic focus every year.