35 CITIES UNITE TO CLEAN THE AIR THEIR CITIZENS BREATHE, PROTECTING THE HEALTH OF MILLIONS
The pledge unveiled today at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen commits cities to set ambitious pollution reduction targets and implement substantive clean air policies by 2025. By publicly reporting on their progress, the cities plan to generate a ‘race to the top’ in cleaning the air in the world’s big cities. The cities signing the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration are:
Amman, Austin, Bengaluru, Barcelona, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Delhi, Dubai, Durban (eThekwini), Guadalajara, Heidelberg, Houston, Jakarta, Los Angeles, Lima, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Medellin, Mexico City, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Portland, Quezon City, Quito, Rotterdam, Seoul, Stockholm, Sydney, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington D.C.
Mayors, speaking at a press conference in Copenhagen had a clear message “We know we need to tackle the twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency. Both need swift, unprecedented and collective action to remove the pollution that is harming our health and warming our planet.”
According to the World Health Organization, 9 in 10 citizens around the world breathe dirty air, and 7 million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution. Air pollution is creating a global public health crisis — one that is rooted in social injustice. Typically, it is the poorest and most vulnerable communities that are most affected by dirty, polluted air.
Through the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, mayors commit to using their power and influence to reduce air pollution and work towards meeting the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines. This means cities will continually reduce their local emissions, and advocate for reductions in regional emissions, resulting in continuous declines in air pollution levels that move towards the WHO guidelines:
Signatories of the declaration pledge to:
Set ambitious pollution reduction targets within two years that meet or exceed national commitments, putting them on a path towards meeting World Health Organization guidelines;
Implement substantive clean air policies by 2025 that address the unique causes of pollution in their cities; and
Publicly report progress on achieving these goals.
If the 35 signatories reduce annual average PM2.5 levels to WHO guidelines (10 ug/m3) it could avoid 40,000 deaths each year.