Join us on 10 October at 11:00 BST for a side event to the World Bank Annual Meetings in Marrakesh, Morocco, focusing on the state of global air quality funding. You will hear from experts, policymakers, and practitioners in the development finance and climate arena. The event will unpack key findings and recommendations from our new report — The State of Global Air Quality Funding 2023 — for multilateral development banks, donors, and private companies to enhance support for clean air projects. More specifically, the event will touch on how to target air quality funding to regions that need more financing; how to push for more action to integrate air quality with private and public investment, and how to drive political will and action towards air quality projects with sustainable development in mind. You can join the event in-person or online, please register to watch the live stream.
Over 99% of people around the world are breathing air that exceeds the WHO air quality guidelines, and air pollution causes 7 million premature deaths every year, including more than half a million children under five. The diseases caused or exacerbated by air pollution – including heart disease, stroke, asthma, lung cancer, dementia and infections like pneumonia – are increasingly straining health systems and eating up scarce health budgets. This suffering and expense could be avoided by clearing the air. In addition to the direct health impacts of dirty air we are increasingly suffering the health and economic impacts of a deteriorating climate. The two issues are of course entangled. The same toxic emissions that heat our planet also toxify the air we breathe.
Despite this, too many international donors are still overlooking and underfunding projects that address toxic air. As the Clean Air Fund’s newest The State of Global Air Quality Funding report reveals, only 1% of international development funding ($17.3 billion) and 2% of international public climate finance ($11.6 billion) was expressly committed to targeting air pollution over the last six years for which full data is available. Much more needs to be done. In tackling air pollution, policy makers and donors have a unique opportunity to address several problems simultaneously and advance the sustainable development agenda as a whole. Ultimately, these investments pay off: every $1 spent on air pollution control can yield an estimated $30 in economic benefits.