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Air pollution in Asia and the Pacific: science-based solutions

This report identifies 25 clean air measures that can positively impact human health, grop yields, climate change and socio-economic development, as well as contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Implementing these measures could help 1 billion people breathe cleaner air by 2030 and reduce global warming by a third of a degree Celsius by 2050.

Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based solutions

According to the report, effectively implementing the 25 measures would result in a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide and a 45% reduction in methane emissions, preventing up to a third of a degree Celsius in global warming. Resulting reductions in ground-level ozone would reduce crop losses by 45% for maize, rice, soy and wheat combined.

Approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution related diseases, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. The reductions in outdoor air pollution from the 25 measures could reduce premature mortality in the region by one third, and help avoid about 2 million premature deaths from indoor air pollution.

Implementing the 25 measures is projected to cost US$300–600 billion per year, only about 5% of the projected annual GDP increase of US$12 trillion. In addition to delivering substantial benefits to human health, food production, environmental protection and climate change mitigation, a basket of co-benefits will accrue, including savings on pollution control.

The analysis takes the region’s considerable diversity into account and groups the selected measures into three categories:

  • Conventional emission controls focusing on emissions that lead to the formation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This includes activities like: increased emissions standards and controls on vehicles, power plants, and large- and small-scale industry.
  • Further (next-stage) air-quality measures for reducing emissions that lead to the formation of PM2.5 and are not yet major components of clean air policies in many parts of the region. This includes activities like: Reducing the burning of agricultural and municipal solid waste, preventing forest and peatland fires, and proper management of livestock manure.
  • Measures contributing to development priority goals with benefits for air quality. This includes activities like: providing clean energy for households, improving public transport and promoting the use of electric vehicles, using renewable energy for electricity generation, and working with oil and gas companies to stop flaring and reduce leaks

Read the findings of the report

  • 92% of Asia and the Pacific’s population – about 4 billion people – are exposed to levels of air pollution that pose a significant risk to their health.

Read  The report Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based solutions

Relaed resources:

2018 | Awareness Materials

Media assets for the report Air Pollution in Asia and the Asia Pacific: Science-Based Solutions

Charts, graphs and infographics from the report, Air Pollution in Asia and the Asia Pacific: Science-based solutions, that can be downloaded and shared.

2019 | Guidelines & Tools

Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) , United Nations Environment Programme, Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership

25 clean air measures for Asia and the Pacific

The report Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based Solutions is the first-ever comprehensive scientific assessment of air pollution outlook in the region. 

air pollution