Online Training & Materials

Air quality, climate change and the New Urban Agenda: Taking action at the city level (webinar)


Cities will have to deliver on the New Urban Agenda adopted at Habitat III. But how can they make this happen with regard to improving air quality, protecting human health and taking climate action? 

This three-part webinar series aims to address these questions. It demonstrates:

  • The links between air quality and climate change
  • Why cities should think globally while acting act locally
  • How cities can maximize air, human health and climate co-benefits


This first webinar introduces the link between urban air quality management and climate change. It showcases national- and city-level solutions that can improve urban air quality and reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants across different sectors such as transport and waste. 

Webinar recording

Watch the webinar

Webinar presentation materials


Q&A session

These are some of the top questions asked during the webinar and the responses to them:

Is there a danger that the efforts to improve air quality locally will have a negative effect on climate in the short term due to the loss of cooling aerosols such as sulphate, nitrate and organic carbon? And should air quality programs be forced to take climate change into account when being implemented?  

While aerosols have a cooling effect they have a large impact on human health as well as other aspects of the climate (e.g. rainfall) and therefore need to be addressed. Given the potential co-benefits that can be gained from action of short-lived climate pollutants it would make sense than any air quality program address both issues.

Currently there is a great market for second hand Asian cars being sold to African nations. These cars are clearly outdated in their pollution levels. Would a ban on this not be a measure we can take?  

Banning the sale of Asian second-handcars in African nations could be one measure but must be part of a broader policy package to improve the African vehicle fleet. It is also important to ensure inspection and maintenance of the existing vehicle fleet and improve fuel quality as well as providing clean, safe and efficient alternatives to the car.  

What is the role of cities that have a harbour? Economically, they depend on the harbour but in fact suffer from the pollution.

Harbour cities can indeed be affected by pollution from boats and ships. Measure can be to taken to improve fuel quality and install fuel efficient engines. See the available measures (PDF)