New international initiative stresses need for global action on air pollution as health impacts remain high | 4/10/2019 | Staff
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The National Academies of Sciences and Medicine from South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and the United States of America have joined forces to issue an urgent call to action on harmful air pollution. They are calling for a new global compact to improve collaboration on the growing problem, and for governments, businesses and citizens to reduce air pollution in all countries. The academies launched their call with the publication of a science-policy statement, which was handed over in a ceremony today at the UN headquarters to senior UN representatives and high-level diplomats from South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and the United States of America.

In the statement, the five National Academies are also jointly calling for immediate action from all levels of society. This includes a request for emissions controls in all countries and proper monitoring of key pollutants—especially PM2.5. PM2.5 is one of the smallest particulates in the air we breathe, which can enter and impact all organs of the body. The science academies specify the need for increased funding to tackle the problem and substantial investment in measures to reduce air pollution. This can also help to reduce climate change and contribute to meeting the goal of limiting average global warming to 1.5ºC.

Statement - Academies - Input - Climate - Action

With this statement, the academies provide further scientific input for the global climate action summit, which the UN Secretary General will hold in September this year and where air pollution and health will be an issue of great concern. The five National academies invite science academies, research institutes, universities and individual scientists worldwide to join the initiative and to strengthen research and science-policy activities in the area of "Air Pollution and Health."

Executive Officer Himla Soodyall from the Academy of Science of South Africa says: "The health impacts of air pollution are enormous, it can harm health across the entire...
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