Healthy Air, Healthy Climate
Unmask My City is a global initiative by doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, and allied health professionals dedicated to improving air quality and reducing emissions in our cities.
The World Health Organization has found air pollution responsible for 6.5 million deaths per year, three million of which are from outdoor air pollution. Cities around the world are grappling with unacceptably high levels of air pollution, with serious consequences for the health of city residents when they breathe small particulate matter and other pollutants.
Many of the biggest sources of ambient air pollution are also the drivers of global warming, with added impacts on people’s health.
The Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) and its partners Health Care Without Harm, the Health and Environment Alliance, the US Climate and Health Alliance and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change are connecting with local health partners and their communities to promote practical solutions and create tangible city level policy changes that drive a clear, downward global trend in urban air pollution.
This will result in reductions in deaths, illnesses, and greenhouse gas emissions.
As of May 2nd – World Asthma Day – Unmask campaigns are rolling out in 10 cities on five continents: Adana, Istanbul and Hatay, Turkey; Belgrade, Serbia; Warsaw, Poland; London, UK; Salt Lake City, US; Chennai, India, Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Emalahleni, South Africa.
Health professionals recognize the impact that air pollution has on health, and are speaking up about the need to address it. Through Unmask My City, health professionals are becoming a visible force driving and supporting healthy air campaigns in their countries.
Globally, the initiative calls for all cities to meet the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines by 2030, and to adopt policies and programmes on a path towards meeting this objective.
Locally, solutions are tailored to the sources of air pollution most impacting each city, and the regulatory, policy or other solutions best suited to create positive change in air quality and climate emissions.