Today marks the very first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. It emphasises the need to make further efforts to improve air quality, including reducing air pollution, to protect human health.
World Health Organisation (WHO) data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year; either by bad outdoor air or indoor smoke.
There are three main areas that we as individuals can do to help improve air quality: –
1) Switch to renewable energy
It is a known fact that coal is the worst among burning fossil fuels as it releases more carbon dioxide (CO²) per unit of energy than oil or gas; however more than a third of the world’s electricity is generated by coal. If more people switch to renewable energy, this can help reduce CO² emissions and also the toxic particulates which contribute to air pollution.
2) Taking alternatives in transportation
As the majority of cars run on either petrol or diesel, they emit CO² and other gases like Nitrogen Dioxide (NO²) from the exhaust fumes and these all contribute to air pollution and climate change.
Walking, cycling and taking public transport are alternatives to driving and encourage more active and healthy living. Car owners can also consider switching to electric cars and consuming renewable electricity to achieve zero-emissions both ‘at the pipe’ and from the power source.
3) Act together as a community
There are many movements going-on initiated by environmental bodies like Friends of The Earth, Green Peace and Climate Tracker. We can act together as a community and help to enforce our governments to enact upon air quality issues.
Our Managing Director Georgia Elliott-Smith is fighting for cleaner air. Georgia has initiated a legal challenge against the government’s decision to exclude waste incinerators from its new carbon trading scheme. You can read more about her challenge in the Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/25/legal-challenge-uk-exclusion-waste-incinerators-emissions-trading-scheme
Have you looked up to the sky today? Tell us what you think about air pollution.