This year’s theme of “The Air We Share” (#TheAirWeShare), focuses on the transboundary nature of air pollution, stressing the need for collective accountability and action.

99% of the people on this planet are now breathing polluted air. Image credit: Chandan Chaurasia | Unsplash

99% of the people on this planet are now breathing polluted air. Image credit: Chandan Chaurasia | Unsplash

The theme also highlights the need for immediate and strategic international and regional cooperation for more efficient implementation of mitigation policies and actions to tackle air pollution.

We all breathe the same air, and one atmosphere protects and sustains us all. Pollution is a global problem that we must act together to combat. It follows on from 2021’s theme of “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet.”

Air pollution is the greatest environmental threat to health, causing approximately 7 million premature deaths each year from diseases like stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

Many sources of air pollution also drive the climate crisis and damage nature and ecosystems. Air pollution adversely affects food security, social and gender parity, and economic development, keeping people entrenched in the cycle of poverty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the threat of pollution to the fore. Data now suggests that air pollution could be putting people at increased risk from COVID-19 infection.

Cleaner air will make us healthier, protect nature, help achieve global climate goals, improve our quality of life, and provide a secure and equitable future for all. If we act now, we can halve global crop losses from these pollutants by 2050. Reducing emissions of methane, an important greenhouse gas and air pollutant, could save between USD4-billion to 33-billion.

There is an urge for all to work together – at home and in the workplace, communities, governments and across borders to improve air quality.

We are all entitled to clean air. Together, we can ensure the message of the third International Day of Clean Air for blue skies becomes a global call for action that leads to long-term change to ensure future generations breathe clean air.

We have the solutions to beat air pollution, and we must ensure we take the necessary actions to ensure air pollution isn’t a part of our collective future.

People can share their thoughts on Clean Air for blue skies by sharing their actions on social media using the hashtags #TheAirWeShare and #WorldCleanAirDay.

For more information, you can visit the official site here.