The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted in their 3rd assessment that Central America is the most vulnerable tropical region to climate change. Air pollution is one of the top ten health risks in the region. Yet, the region’s energy-induced fossil fuel emissions are contributing to deteriorating air quality with adverse health effects on local populations.
Air pollution in the region’s largest cities exceeds the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) air quality guidelines. In 2018, the WHO demonstrated that ambient and household air pollution accounted for more than 23,500 deaths per year in SICA member countries.
There is great potential to address emissions in the region in a coordinated way and doing so will deliver multiple associated benefits linked to improved air quality, such as improved human health and reduced crop losses. SICA is advancing this work with its Regional Climate Change Strategy (ERCC), a framework to develop harmonized air quality regulations, as well as various initiatives to support access to clean household energy.