International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies
The very first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies will be observed on September 7, 2020. It will be observed to stress the importance of having clean air to breathe. There is a dire need to address concerns around the increasing air pollution and the challenges it poses for the health and well-being of all living species on Earth.
Effects Of Air Pollution
The first one is human deaths. Air pollution is the single-largest reason for around 7 million deaths worldwide. Particles like PM 10, PM2.5, and PM1 can get absorbed in the lungs and bloodstream. These lead to respiratory diseases and lung cancer, with many cases leading to deaths.
The second biggest effect of air pollution is climate change. Pollutants like nitrates, methane, carbon and Sulphur compounds persist in the atmosphere and lead to health issues. Also, they cause global warming. Compounds called short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) persists in the atmosphere for short periods of time. Also, there are those compounds that linger on for longer periods as well, but all kinds of pollutants are damaging to the environment and human health.
The United Nations has held 25 Climate Change Conferences since 1995. However, global warming and air pollution have increased manifold in this period. Watch this short video to know why these conferences have not been successful.
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The frequency of climate-related disasters across the world has increased. There has been a spurt in the occurrence of zoonotic diseases. Take, for instance, COVID-19 and its far-reaching effects. However, are we refusing to learn and change?
How Can Humans Learn More About Air Pollution and its Effects?
Vehicular emissions, burning of crops and forests, smoke from industries, construction and mining activities – there are reasons galore for particulate matter and toxic air. Humans across the developed and developing countries are responsible for the declining quality of air in our countries. And it is us, who are also responsible for tackling this crisis.
The onus of causing air pollution is silently shifted to the developing countries by the developed countries. But the reality is that developed countries are equally responsible for air pollution and its cost on human lives and economies.
Embracing sustainability is not a choice, it is the need of the hour, for a happier life and planet. Invest yourself by learning more about air pollution. A good start is learning about sustainability and encourages others to do, too. Enroll for a free online course on “Story of Sustainability” on our SDG Plus learning hub. Don’t forget to read the reviews and leave one too!
Also, read: COP25 – Are We Going in Reverse?
Tackling Air Pollution
Let’s raise awareness of the importance of clean air. We need to understand how the availability of clean air is linked to our Sustainable Development Goals. We need to fuel innovation in developing solutions to improve air quality. We – governments, the private sector, academia, civil society organizations, and NGOs, and you and me – must come together.
The cost of air pollution is high in terms of expenses on healthcare, negative economic costs, productivity, and tourism costs. We all must invest in finding solutions to prevent and tackle air pollution.
However, while developed countries can afford high-end solutions to air pollution, the same is not the case for developing countries. Developing countries also face a high burden of air pollution. The need is to implement frugal and sustainable solutions to tackle air pollution. Frugal innovation can give developed countries an opportunity to solve the problem without using up too many valuable resources of the planet.
Watch our video on how frugal innovation is sustainable and economically interesting for industrially developed countries.
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