SEI hosts webinar on health, environmental impact of air pollution

05 Sep 2020, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


On Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, the world will mark the first-ever United Nation's International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.

On Monday, September 7, 2020, the world will mark the first-ever United Nation's International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. The theme for 2020 is "Clean Air for All." The aim for declaring the international day is to bring awareness to the environmental threat of air pollution to health and to galvanise efforts to build a better future with clean air.

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), a Swedish non-profit research organisation and a key partner of the UN International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, has said it will launch a new policy brief on air pollution and human health impacts on the international day. The title of the policy brief is, “Air Pollution and Its Impact on Human Health: An Important Driver for Achieving the 1.5°C Goal of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

In a statement sent to Financial Nigeria on Friday, SEI said the policy brief will be launched during a webinar that would provide policy advice and measures for addressing air pollution, improving human health, mitigating climate change and making progress towards multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is the world’s largest environmental health risk, contributing to seven million premature deaths every year. SEI said its research has shown air pollution is responsible for millions of asthma-related visits to hospitals each year, and over two million pre-term births, which can have life-long health implications for survivors.

The Stockholm-based institution said air pollution reduction strategies would not only improve air quality and bring health benefits, they would also provide economic benefits to communities.

“If chosen carefully, measures to address air pollution can also reduce greenhouse gases, which addresses climate change,” said Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, SEI’s Air Pollution Research Leader. “If this opportunity is to be realized, then countries and cities need to know which air pollution policies can provide both health and climate change reduction benefits. The SEI tool helps with this.”
SEI said the online event will hold between 15:00 – 16:30 British Summer Time (BST) on Monday and will be chaired by Kuylenstierna. Other speakers at the event will include Geraint Davies MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution in the UK Parliament; Sir Andy Haines, Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Yewande Awe, Senior Environmental Engineer at the World Bank; and Sarah West, Centre Director at SEI, University of York.

The expert panel is expected to also provide policy advice on how the world can build back better in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the event is themed, "Building back better: Why we must address air pollution to tackle public health and climate change."


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