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WHO Global Conference On Air Pollution Aims To Reduce Air Pollutants

The WHO plans to put in place a tracking system to monitor commitments made by the participants.

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Delhi air quality continues to be 'very poor'. VOA

Participants at the first ever WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution have adopted a plan for reducing air pollution, which every year prematurely kills an estimated seven million people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the conference a resounding success, noting 900 people attended, twice as many as expected. Furthermore, it says more than 70-member states, non-governmental organizations, and other participants have made voluntary commitments to take action to reduce air pollution.

Director of the WHO’s Department of Public Health and Environment Maria Neira said the WHO is taking a leading role in setting forth action to tackle air pollution for a cleaner, healthier world.

Air Pollution, China, WHO
A man wearing a respiratory protection mask walks toward an office building during the smog after a red alert was issued for heavy air pollution in Beijing’s central business district, China. VOA

“WHO, as the global health agency, made, as well, very strong commitments, starting by proposing an aspiration target of reducing by two-thirds the mortality caused by air pollution by the year 2030. And, this is really a big challenge that we will mobilize and, we will call for everyone to contribute to that,” she said.

Neira said prompt action is needed to reach that goal. For example, she says people need to stop burning solid waste and agricultural waste. She said they have to move away from fossil fuels. She said people in Africa and other areas with populations in great need must be helped to meet the goal.

Air Quality, WHO
Air pollution can also damage your kidneys. wikimedia commons

“We need to liberate those three billion people that today, they are still relying on fossil fuels at the household level to cook or heat or light their house. We need to make sure that they will have access to clean sources of energy,” said Neira.

Also Read: Massive Benefits Could Be Achieved If Air Pollution Is Controlled In Asia: UN

The WHO plans to put in place a tracking system to monitor commitments made by the participants. The system is intended to gauge the progress being made toward achieving better health for all by freeing the world of air pollution. (VOA)

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India: Programme to Reduce Air Pollution in 102 Cities Formulated

Action plan to implement "Control of Pollution" programme for 80 of these cities was ready and the ministry has earmarked Rs 460 crore

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Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said a programme has been formulated to reduce air pollution in 102 cities across the country.

Interacting with reporters here, he said that action plan to implement “Control of Pollution” programme for 80 of these cities was ready and the ministry has earmarked Rs 460 crore for it.

“Our intention is to make the Earth green and sky blue. We have taken up 102 cities on the priority basis, where pollutants such as dust, solid waste, vehicular emmission, are causing air pollution,” he said.

Maharashtra has the highest number of cities, including Mumbai, in the list, while Delhi, Bangaluru, Bhopal, Lucknow are among the other major cities. The minister also said that the cities with million plus population would be given Rs 10 crore each under the programme.

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Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said a programme has been formulated to reduce air pollution in 102 cities across the country. Pixabay

The ministry has also come up with a list of 28 cities, where it intends to reduce Particulate Matter (PM) – PM10 and PM 2.5 – by 10 per cent in the next one-two years.

The minister also said that his ministry has received an increase of Rs 482 crore in the 2019-20 budget to Rs 3, 175 crore which was 16 per cent higher year-on-year.

Also Read- SBI Waives Charges on RTGS and NEFT Transactions

However, the final budget allocation to the green ministry comes to Rs 2,954 crore as some of its subjects such as the Animal Welfare Board, and the National River Conservation Programme were transferred to other ministries. (IANS)