Air Pollution, Climate Change and Health: Scaling up Solutions to Heal the Planet


When: 13:00-14:30, November 12

Where: Green Zone, Room ZIZ

Indoor and outdoor air pollution kills more than 6 million people worldwide and contributes to global warming. Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk and is one of the main avoidable causes of disease and death globally. More than half the deaths due to pneumonia in children under five years is attributed to indoor air pollution. Despite efforts to reduce air pollution, levels continue to rise, with 9 out of 10 people breathing dirty air in 2016. A well-coordinated global response is needed to drastically reduce air pollution, which is critical to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving the Paris Agreement.

Complementary to mitigating CO2 emissions, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition acts as a catalyst to create, implement and share immediate solutions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants to address near-term climate change, improve people’s health, and ensure sustainable development for future generations. City, national and international action is required to scale up cleaner transport, access to clean cooking technologies, more efficient energy production and use, and better waste management.

This side-event will showcase the World Health Organization/Climate and Clean Air Coalition/UN Environment’s Breathe Life campaign for air quality and share solutions available at city and national levels to reduce emissions of black carbon (soot), methane and tropospheric ozone to protect human health and keep the global temperature below 2 degrees. Cities and national governments are encouraged to join the Breathe Life campaign, to raise awareness about the health and climate impacts from air pollution, and commit to achieving WHO Air Quality Guidelines by 2030.


13:00-13:10: Welcome
Dr. Carlos Dora, World Health Organization

13:10-13:20: City and national leadership
Andres Pica, Ministry of Environment, Chile

13:20-13:30: Scaling up financing on clean cookstoves
V. Ramanathan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography UCSD and Tara Ramanathan, Nexleaf Analytics

13:30-13:40: Mainstreaming air pollution into the public health agenda
Sumi Meta, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

13:40-13:50: Every Breath Counts on World Pneumonia Day
Alex Heikens, UNICEF

13:50-14:00: Solutions from municipal solid waste management sector
Jiao Tang, ISWA

14:00-14:10: Importance of cities coordinating action on climate and air quality together
Shu Zhu, ICLEI

14:10-14:25: Questions and Answers
Moderator, Dr. Carlos Dora, World Health Organization

14:25-14:30: Scaling up action on short-lived climate pollutants for health and climate
Helena Molin Valdes, Climate and Clean Air Coalition