Scaling up finance for climate and air pollution together: A matter of health

UNEP Pavilion (Blue Zone)-Zone B7, building 87
United Arab Emirates

The climate emergency has never been greater. At the same time, 99 per cent of the global population breathes air that does not meet WHO Guidelines. The two crises often share the same pollutants and sources, making integrated action an effective choice to achieve wide-ranging benefits for sustainable development.  

For example, cutting human-made emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas over 80 times more potent than CO2 over 20 years, by 45% by 2030 is possible (CCAC/UNEP Global Methane Assessment), and would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by the 2040s, complementing long-term climate change mitigation efforts. But methane is also a precursor of ground-level ozone, which harms people’s health and inhibits plant growth. The above methane reductions would, each year, prevent 255,000 premature deaths, 775,000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat, and 26 million tonnes of crop losses globally. This makes for a strong case to act, and methane is only one of these superpollutants.

Black carbon is another superpollutant that is a component of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Air pollution is a leading environmental cause of non-communicable disease and 7 million premature deaths annually.  

This event will:

  • Highlight the interlinkages of climate and clean air, and how targeted solutions that reduce short-climate pollutants across key sectors yield health and wider sustainable development outcomes.  
  • Provide countries an opportunity to showcase how integrated planning, inventories and policies help generate a double dividend.  
  • Demonstrate how political will and commitment, cooperation across teams, inclusion of specific measures in nationally determined contributions (NDCs) help unlock investments, which then translate into real world public health improvements.
  • Call for action to scale up finance for climate and air pollution together.  
  • Curated by: UNEP-convened Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which brings together over 80 countries and over 80 non-state actors working at the nexus of air quality and climate through actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants - methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons and ground-level ozone.  


Opening Remarks

  • Martina Otto, Head of UNEP-convened Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Secretariat 
  • Heather Adair-Rohani, Air Quality & Health Unit Head, a.i. & Technical Lead on Energy and Health, WHO  


Panel discussion on country experiences:  Catalyzing finance and the cost of inaction 

Moderator: Nathan Borgford-parnell, CCAC Science Affairs Coordinator


  • Abraham Ortinez Álvarez, General Coordinator of Climate Change Mitigation at the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change of Mexico 
  • Dr. Nawal Alhosany, Acting, Assistant Undersecretary of Green Development & Climate Change Sector & Permanent Mission of the UAE to IRENA
  • Patricia Barandun, Chief Section Migration and Forced Displacement at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland 
  • James Leather, Director, Transport, Asian Development Bank
  • Rahul Kitchlu, Climate Change Group, World Bank


  • Martina Otto, Head of UNEP-convened Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Secretariat 


Event contact

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