Air pollution is currently the deadliest global environmental health risk, causing nearly five million deaths each year, mainly from exposure to fine particles. The burden of air pollution is greatest and increasing in countries with rapid economic development and urbanization, along with a proliferation of emissions from industry, electric power generation and motorized transport.
In countries with limited or no air quality regulation, this causes steep increases in harmful pollution and is compounded by the burning of household solid fuels, crop waste and forests for land clearing. It's also closely linked to the worsening impacts of climate change.
“Accelerating City Progress on Clean Air: Innovation and Action Guide” looks at proven approaches and innovations for rapid air quality improvements. It is designed to help cities develop better air quality management capacity and provides recommendations for how city governments can achieve clean air success by focusing on four key priority areas: air quality, assessing emissions and sources, expanding data access and use, and engaging governments and partners to develop and implement action plans.
The guide was produced by Vital Strategies, a global public health non-profit. It is targeted at policymakers and other stakeholders developing clean air programs for urban areas in low and middle-income countries. But it does provide useful information for journalists on air quality monitoring, data sources, emissions and more.
Banner image: A view of the Bund in Shanghai on a smoggy day / Credit: Lei Han via Flickr