Conference considered how to address air pollution in response to NCDs

06th November 2018

From 30 October - 1 November 2018, over 800 representatives from national and local governments, UN organisations and civil society gathered in Geneva for the first WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health.

The event provided an opportunity to discuss and agree on further action required in order to ensure an effective and appropriate response to address the health impacts of air pollution. This includes action related to monitoring, reporting, capacity-building, reduction measures, policy experience and financing.

Road map endorsed by WHA

The event was called for in the road map for an enhanced global response to the adverse health effects of air pollution, which was endorsed by the 69th World Health Assembly.

Taking place one month after air pollution and other environmental determinants were recognised as leading risk factors for the global burden of NCDs, the conference presented an opportunity for the NCD community to consider how its existing competencies can be deployed to address the burden of air pollution attributable to NCDs.

Impact comparable to tobacco use

Air pollution alone is responsible for seven million deaths worldwide – a number comparable to mortality from tobacco. Addressing air pollution therefore provides a major opportunity to achieve global WHO and UN targets for NCD mortality reduction.

More information can be found in NCD Alliance’s briefing note entitled A breath of fresh air.

Recordings of the conference sessions are available on the conference website. In the penultimate session of the conference, Member States and other participants publicly announced commitments that will be posted online in coming days.

WHO has released a report of the conference: Clean Air for Health: The Geneva Action Agenda.