The United Nations has called on governments, businesses and communities to take decisive action to beat air pollution.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres made the call as the world marked the first-ever International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on 7 September.

Development Diaries understands that the UN General Assembly adopted the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, in 2019, to emphasise the importance of public awareness at all levels and to promote and facilitate actions to improve air quality.

‘Around the world, nine out of every ten people breathe unclean air’, Guterres said.

‘The extent of this challenge requires decisive action on the part of governments, businesses and communities to end reliance on fossil fuels in favour of clean affordable renewable energy.

‘On the first-ever International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, let us commit to no new coal for cleaner, greener economies and better health for all’.

The UN says air pollution not only threatens the health of people but also has negative impacts on plants and ecosystems.

Environmental experts have noted that ozone air pollution alone is responsible for 52 million tons of global crop losses annually.

Air pollution also drives the climate crisis with many greenhouse gases and air pollutants coming from the same sources.

The International Day of Clean Air for blue skies calls for increased international cooperation at the global, regional and sub-regional levels and also provides a platform for strengthening global solidarity.

Source: UN Environment Programme

Photo source: J Swanstrom (Never Enough Time)

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