Air pollution as big a concern as coronavirus for children

Two-thirds of young people from China, India, the UK and US are worried about how air pollution will affect their health, which is almost as much as they worry about the health impacts of catching coronavirus.

New research by Global Action Plan and Blueair finds that children’s level of worry about how air pollution will impact their health compared to coronavirus is high in Britain specifically, albeit less than the international average (42 per cent for air pollution and 57 per cent for Covid-19).

Children in the UK have the lowest level of agreement that adults are doing enough to protect the air they breathe (at 24 per cent), whilst children in India report a higher level of agreement at 71 per cent.

Despite predictions by UNICEF that by 2050 air pollution will become the leading cause of child mortality, clean air is currently not among children’s rights defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and is not formally recognised worldwide. In light of this and the overwhelming support from children globally through the polling, Global Action Plan and Blueair have launched the Freedom to breathe campaign.

The campaign aims to empower young people globally to jointly call on the United Nations to acknowledge their fundamental right to clean air.

As part of the campaign, a school’s programme is educating children on the importance of breathing clean air and what they can do to minimise their exposure to common sources of harmful pollution. This is being delivered through local delivery partners in cities from each of the four surveyed countries which have some of the worst levels of recorded pollution – London, Beijing, Delhi, and Los Angeles.

Sonja Graham, CEO at Global Action Plan, said: “It is astounding that clean air is not among the rights of children worldwide. Access to clean air is vital for children to be able to live long healthy lives and realise their full potential. Children have the right to clean water, a safe home, why do they not have a right to clean air to breathe?”

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.

Supplier Profiles