The UNEP and Boston College research partnership, which focuses on quantifying the impact of air pollution on human health and the economy, established the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health.
UNEP Executive Director, Erik Solheim, launched the partnership, emphasizing that air pollution is “one of the biggest public health emergencies of our time”.
24 September 2018: The UN Environment Programmme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and Boston College have announced a research partnership to quantify the impact of air pollution on human health and the economy. The partnership established the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health that will begin its work with estimating economic and human capital losses in India and China due to air pollution. The results from this first project are expected by June 2019.
UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim launched the partnership, emphasizing that air pollution is “one of the biggest public health emergencies of our time” and that the partnership will provide early warnings of air quality issues.
Philip Landrigan, Boston College, who is leading the research effort, noted that the initiative will also disseminate knowledge widely to the general public and policymakers, with a view to changing public policy, preventing pollution, and saving lives.
UNEP reports that pollution causes nine million deaths a year, and that illnesses linked to pollution account for 16 million premature deaths. The third session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) in December 2017 adopted several resolutions to address pollution of air, water and soil, and to control pollution in areas affected by armed conflict. [UNEP Press Release] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNEA-3] [Boston College Website]