Pure Earth and Global Alliance on Health and Pollution join forces with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to tackle air pollution

by CCAC secretariat - 19 February, 2020
The two organizations help low and middle income countries prioritise solutions to pollution-related health challenges.

Air pollution kills 7 million people prematurely every year, making it the world’s largest environmental cause of death and disease. In fact, it is responsible for more deaths than malaria, road accidents, and HIV/AIDS combined.

To help tackle this problem, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is excited to announce that Pure Earth, an international nonprofit that specializes in global pollution cleanup which is the secretariat of the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), which has over 60 members from 27 countries working to solve pollution and health problems at scale, are new partners of the CCAC. .

“We firmly believe we can solve this global pollution crisis especially if we all work together,” said Richard Fuller, President and CEO of Pure Earth. “By sharing data, knowledge, expertise and solutions, we can make faster progress on achieving our common goal: to solve pollution and protect the health of every person on this planet, wherever they might live.”

GAHP has an exciting list of accomplishments, including its work on the Sustainable Development Goals, to include all types of pollution in the Health goal in Target 3.9, and securing Target 12.4 on sustainable consumption and production.

Pure Earth/GAHP are also spearheading important research on the health effects of short-lived climate pollutants, such as the seminal 2017 report with The Lancet and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai that helped confirm air pollution’s massive health impact. It also showed that pollution-related diseases reduce the GDP of low to middle income countries by up to 2 percent each year. The report generated over 3,000 media articles that reached over 2 billion people.

The two organizations are also helping low and middle income countries prioritise solutions to pollution-related health challenges and have already helped seven countries (Colombia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, the Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand) establish Health and Pollution Action Plans that prioritise solutions to pollution-related health challenges. Several other countries are in the process of doing so.

The GAHP 2019 report, Pollution Knows No Borders,  investigated the impacts on high income countries from pollution generated in low and middle income countries and cross borders in the form of food, air, toys, and water.

Pure Earth/GAHP are also working with the United Nations Environment Programme, Boston College, Harvard School of Public Health and Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab on a Global Pollution Observatory, an interactive platform with real-time data on air, water, and soil pollution that has data visualization and citizen storytelling functions. 

Now that they’re partnered with CCAC, the organizations are looking forward to ramping up their work against short-lived climate pollutants and air pollution.

This work will include refining the burden of disease as it relates to air pollution, updating the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, finding funding to implement work such as eliminating crop burning in Cote D’Ivoire and India, launching a Toxic Sites Identification Program in Madagascar, and launching initiatives to raise high level political attention to pollution as a whole, including at the One Planet Summit, and with the G7/G20.

“There seems to be a groundswell of interest now in tackling pollution, especially air pollution,” said Fuller. “The world is starting to pay attention, so we must work together to grab this opportunity to solve this global problem, which affects everyone.”