ISLAMABAD, Dec 24 (APP):The severe air pollution in the Asia and Pacific region with South Asia attracting the most media news bulletins as 92 percent of Asia and Pacific’s population are exposed to hazardous level of air pollution jeopardizing their health.
The recent report, which is a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment or UNEP), the Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership (APCAP), and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) said that was launched at the World Health Organization (WHO)’s first Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health.
“Millions of lives could be saved and one billion people living in Asia could be breath in clean air by 2030 if 25 simple and cost-effective measures were implemented,” the new UN report said.
The report added that at present around 4 billion people – 92 percent of Asia and the Pacific’s population – were exposed to levels of air pollution that pose a significant risk to their health.
The report said air pollution and climate change were basically linked, since air pollutants impact the climate and were often co-emitted with greenhouse gases.
Monsoon rains were considered to be the main source of water for arable land in India and Pakistan. The unpredictable nature of the monsoon could cause extensive financial losses, the destruction of farmland and damage to livelihoods and property due to increasing air pollution, it added.
“Increasing air pollution levels over these monsoon regions can alter long-term rainfall patterns. The presence of PM 2.5 in the atmosphere may affect precipitation patterns during the summer monsoon season. For example, a weaker trend in the Indian monsoon precipitation and a north-south shift in precipitation in East Asia have been observed and linked to changes in the emissions of particles and other pollutants from within and outside Asia.”The top 25 clean air measures would avoid several hundred thousand premature deaths from ambient PM 2.5 pollution and about 2 million from indoor air pollution every year that includes post-combustion controls, Industrial process emissions standards, Emissions standards for road vehicles, Vehicle inspection and maintenance, Dust control, Agricultural crop residues, Residential waste burning, Prevention of forest and peatland fires.
Moreover, livestock manure management, Nitrogen fertilizer application, Brick kilns, International shipping, Solvent use and refineries, Measures contributing to development priority goals with benefits for air quality, Clean cooking and heating, Renewables for power generation, Energy efficiency for households, Energy efficiency standards for industry, Electric vehicles, Improved public transport, Solid waste management, Rice paddies, Wastewater treatment, Coal mining, Oil and gas production, and Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant replacement were also part of the solutions.