WMO joins global commitment to cut air pollution

WMO has joined the global commitment to reduce deaths due to air pollution by two thirds by 2030. At the First World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, held in Geneva from 30 October to 1 November, WMO pledged to improve the quality and availability of pollution observations, enable provision of air quality forecasts and advisory services, and incorporate health impacts in key scientific assessments on climate and climate change. WMO co-organized the three-day event, which secured commitments from governments, health authorities, international agencies and the scientific community to act against air pollution.

Earlier this year, WHO and WMO signed an agreement to improve health outcomes through better weather, climate, atmospheric and hydrological services, and through improved monitoring and management of environmental health risks. This includes closer coordination between the communities that observe and predict air quality and health authorities that deal with the impact of human exposure to pollutants.

Specifically, WMO committed to:

  • Enhance the availability and quality of observations of pollution such as black carbon, tropospheric ozone and atmospheric dust through the GAW network
  • Include more information on health impacts in key authoritative reports such as the Annual Statement on the State of the Global Climate and assessments by the IPCC
  • Lead global research and strengthen scientific knowledge on connections between air quality and climate, and develop science-based tools to support policy-making on air pollution and climate change mitigation, such as through the IG3IS
  • Provide tools to reduce health risks by improving forecasts and warning and advisory services for sand and dust storms, and heatwaves
  • Include air quality as part of integrated climate, health and urban services
  • Include health-related service components in WMO training and capacity development programmes

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