Sep 7, 2020, 10:11 AM
Journalist ID: 1114
News Code: 84029560
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Air pollution kills 7m people every year – UN Chief warns

Tehran, Sept 7, IRNA – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that air pollution causes an estimated seven million premature deaths every year.

Guterres made the remarks in his message on the occasion of the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies (September 7, 2020), a copy of which was sent to IRNA by the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Tehran.

The full text of his message reads:

Around the world, nine out of every ten people breathe unclean air.

Air pollution contributes to heart disease, strokes, lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.

It causes an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries.

Air pollution also threatens the economy, food security and the environment.

As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the world needs to pay far greater attention to air pollution, which also increases the risks associated with COVID-19.

We must also urgently address the deeper threat of climate change.

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will help reduce air pollution, death and disease.

This year’s lockdowns have caused emissions to fall dramatically, providing a glimpse of cleaner air in many cities.

But emissions are already rising again, in some places surpassing pre-COVID levels.

We need dramatic and systemic change.

Reinforced environmental standards, policies and laws that prevent emissions of air pollutants are needed more than ever.

Countries also need to end subsidies for fossil fuels.

And, at the international level, countries need to cooperate to help each other transition to clean technologies.

I call on governments still providing finance for fossil fuel-related projects in developing countries to shift that support towards clean energy and sustainable transport.

And I urge all countries to use post-COVID recovery packages to support the transition to healthy and sustainable jobs.

Today, 7 September, marks the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.

Let us work together to build a better future with clean air for all.


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