International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies Observance: Actions on Air Quality in North America
Air pollution is a global problem with far-reaching impacts due to its transboundary nature. It is one of the greatest environmental risks to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally causing an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year. To raise awareness and mobilize global action to address air pollution the United Nations General Assembly designated 7 September as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies and invites stakeholders to observe the day and to “give consideration to enhancing international cooperation in support of the efforts of all Member States towards attaining clean air.”
The theme of the 2022 International Day is “The Air We Share.”
To raise awareness of the urgency of boosting national action, as well as regional and international collaboration to improve air quality, CEC, WRI and UNEP North America are hosting a dialogue focused on clean air efforts in Canada, Mexico and the United States, including through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation signed in 1974.
WRI CEO and President, Ani Dasgupta, and UNEP Director for North America, Barbara Hendrie, will provide opening remarks. Keynote speakers include U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, Jane Nishida and representatives from the Canadian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and Mexican Environment and Natural Resources.
A panel discussion follows on The Way Forward for Clean Air in North America and Beyond moderated by Beatriz Cardenas, WRI’s Global Air Quality Director. Speakers include Gary Kleiman of Orbis Air, who will highlight key lessons from UNEP’s Actions on Air Quality in North America report with a view towards supporting policymakers and decisionmakers in other parts of the world facing air pollution challenges. A representative of the California Air Resources Board will focus on innovative approaches to addressing air quality challenges in economically disadvantaged communities. Susan Anenberg, Director Climate and Health Institute, George Washington University will speak about the critical role of subnational action to drive air pollution and health gains. And Orlando Cabrera-Rivera, Head of Unit for Environmental Quality, CEC, will discuss collaboration on air quality between Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
This event will be available in English, French and Spanish.