The UN Secretary General, António Guterres has noted that nine out of ten persons in the world are exposed to air pollutants that exceed World Health Organisation air quality guidelines
This Guterres, said in a statement aimed at marking the 2019 World Environment Day today.
He stated that everywhere in the world, from big to small cities, people are breathing in dirty air.
He added that this has reduced life expectancy rate and is damaging various economies in the world.
“Today, we face an equally urgent crisis. It is time to act decisively, My message to governments is clear: tax pollution; end fossil fuel subsidies; and stop building new coal plants, We need a green economy not a grey economy.
“On World Environment Day, I ask each of us to act so we can breathe more easily, from pressuring politicians and businesses to changing our own habits, we can reduce pollution and beat climate change.”
Guterres said in a bid to improve air quality, countries must tackle pollution causing tiny particles that penetrate defenses every time filling the lungs.
He stated that this particle are generated from many sources: the burning of fossil fuels for power and transport; the chemicals and mining industries; the open burning of waste; the burning of forests and fields.
“The use of dirty indoor cooking and heating fuels, are major problems in the developing world.
“This polluted air kills some 7 million people each year, causes long term health problems, such as asthma, and reduces children’s cognitive development.”
According to the World Bank, air pollution costs societies more than $5 trillion every year.