Air pollution – health – climate change
Air pollution affects the environment and health, with both immediate and long-term effects.
Climate change increases not only air pollution but heightens its effects on health.
Certain pollutants like ozone and fine particulate matter are involved in both air pollution and climate change. Black carbon (produced by diesel engines and coal-burning stoves…) and methane (40% of emissions come from agriculture and livestock farming) are both examples of this harmful type of pollutant.
Breathing in air pollution daily, like fine particules and ozone, leads to adverse effects on the heart (1/4 of heart diseases are due to air pollution), the liver, the brain (34% of deaths by stroke), the lungs and even the reproductive system.
Climate change also impacts the health by affecting the quality of air, access to drinking water and food supply.
Air pollution affects 80% of citizens across the world and kills 7 million people per year. Of these, 4.3 million are down to household air pollution, particularly among women and young children in developing countries.
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE AIR QUALITY ?
Keeping the air healthy starts with small individual actions that limit our impact, promote physical activity and save money.
Limit and reduce your waste
Heat and cook responsibly
Use sustainable modes of transportation
Investing in a healthy environment can have multiple benefits. Implementing proven, cost-effective measures to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon and methane could reduce global warming by 0.5°C by the middle of the century, and save 2.4 million lives a year from reduced air pollution by 2030.
AND HOW CAN YOU FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE ?
Actions aimed at reducing energy consumption make it possible to act on both the improvement of air quality and the mitigation of climate change.
Use different methods of construction
Integrate renewable energy
Consume organic and eco-friendly products and services
Invest in climate finance and SRI (socially responsible investment)
Sources : Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Breathe Life, UN Environment, World Health Organization