World Environment Day, 2019

- By Mugdha Gaonkar

5th June was selected as World Environment Day by the United Nations, to highlight on major issues like protection and health of the environment, which affects the health of the people and economic development throughout the world. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responses conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. World Environment Day 2019 will be hosted by China, with a theme of "Air Pollution". We can't stop breathing, but we can definitely do something about the quality of air that we breathe.

The theme for 2019, “Beat Air Pollution” is a call to action call to combat this global crisis. Chosen by this year’s host, China, this year’s topic invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce, and prevent its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health.

Air Pollution

Approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.

To make people guardians of the air they breathe, people need to be equipped with three procedural tools in order to defend their right to breathe clean air.

First, the right to access information about air quality (ideally through the provision of live data from monitoring stations, supplemented by regular reports from trusted government or academic sources).

Also, the right to participate in decisions and policymaking which affects air quality, such as the granting of industrial permits or the formulation of air quality plans. Finally, and crucially, the right to go to court to enforce pollution laws against governments and companies alike.

According to a new UN report on air pollution in Asia and the Pacific, implementing 25 technology policies could see up to a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide and a 45 per cent reduction in methane emissions globally, leading to a third of a degree Celsius saving of global warming.

Air Pollution facts:

  • • 92 per cent of people worldwide do not breathe clean air
  • • Air pollution costs the global economy $5 trillion every year in welfare costs
  • • Ground-level ozone pollution is expected to reduce staple crop yields by 26 per cent by 2030

As the World Environment Day is approaching, Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched a theme song ‘Hawa Aane De’ on air pollution. The song was launched in the national capital on May 29. The aim is to spread awareness regarding protecting environment.

Song Link:

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