On 7 September, we celebrate the 2nd International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. This day, initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is an opportunity to further raise awareness of the health benefits of cleaner air as well as to call for bold action to improve air quality globally.
This year, in 2021, the theme is ” Healthy Air, Healthy Planet”, based on the planetary health approach. This notion recognizes that human health and the health of our planet are inextricably linked. As a result, taking action to combat air pollution is also acting to tackle the climate crisis and improve human health.
The health impacts of air pollution are clear. Healthcare professionals and climate scientists have issued a dire warning about the threat of air pollution and climate crisis. The production and use of fossil fuels is the greatest contributor to poor air quality and fuels climate emergency. Air pollution has detrimental impacts on climate, biodiversity, and ecosystems. #WorldCleanAirDay also falls during the Global Week of Action on NCDs, reminding us that air pollution is the second leading cause of deaths from non-communicable diseases. Conversely, improving our air quality will bring health, development, and environmental benefits.
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) has co-signed an open letter to support and encouragement for the United Nations to improve air quality. It is a strong call for action for decision-makers to end all new fossil fuels.
At European level, Medics for Clean Air are helping to ensure that the voice of the healthcare community is present in the debate on crucial topics such as on the new EU climate legislation, on the new EU air quality standards, and on the pathway towards zero-emission transport. el development and secure a just transition for every community and country to our clean energy future.
Help us make our voice stronger by sharing and retweeting our Medics4CleanAir call, to encourage more medics across Europe to get involved so we can protect our patients and heal our planet.