Improving Air Quality

Air pollution is considered the single largest environmentally related global health risk of our time. UN Environment is focused on measures to improve air quality to protect human health.

Short-lived climate pollutants, including black carbon, methane, and ozone, contribute to the climate change crisis, as well as towards a significant proportion of air-pollution related deaths and diseases that kill approximately 7 million people per year.  Lowering short-lived climate pollutants can reduce disease, contribute to food security, improve diets and increase physical activity.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) was launched by Canada, the United States, UN Environment, and other member nations to reduce these pollutants to slow down global warming by as much as 0.5 degrees Celcius by 2050. The CCAC is also working to address air quality issues to avoid the 2.4 million premature deaths that occur annually from outdoor air pollution.

Vehicle emissions are the main source of outdoor air pollution – including particulate matter (PM) which includes black carbon.  The increase in vehicle emissions is mainly the result of poor fuel quality and weak vehicle regulation around the world. The Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles was launched by UN Environment to support countries address urban air pollution through the adoption of cleaner fuels and more efficient vehicle technologies and standards.  It is most recognized for its successful support of countries to phase out leaded gasoline.