• WHO conference sets goal of reducing air pollution related deaths by two thirds by 2030

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The first ever World Health Organisation Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health has been held in Geneva, Switzerland. The major headline from the event was the setting of an “aspirational” goal of reducing air pollution-related deaths by two-thirds by 2030, with the current estimate of annual deaths being 7 million per year. This mortality burden also translates into an economic one, with WHO estimating US$ 5.7 trillion (€4.98 trillion) in welfare losses, an astonishing 4.4% of global gross domestic product in 2016. Urgent action will be required to meet the WHO air pollution goal, in particular measures “to avoid dirty fuels and technologies in transport and energy production; to stop uncontrolled burning of solid waste and agricultural waste; to reduce use of fertilizers in agriculture; and to promote clean technologies and fuels and green, clean cities. All countries and cities will need to achieve WHO air quality guidelines levels.” Collectively, the list of measures is called the Geneva Action Agenda to Combat Air Pollution, and the combustion industry will have an important role to play in helping to reduce emissions from power generation and other heavy industry.