Date: Thursday, 7 September 2023; 4th Anniversary.
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)
The International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies is annually observed for the following purposes:
- to raise awareness of the importance of clean air for health, productivity, the environment, and the economy,
- to highlight the close link of air quality to other environmental and developmental challenges such as climate change,
- to promote and facilitate actions to improve air quality by sharing actionable knowledge best practices, innovations, and success stories, and
- to strengthen international cooperation in reducing air pollution and improving air quality.
The International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies was held around the world for the first time on 7th September 2020.
In late 2019, the Republic of Korea proposed to launch an annual International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
On 19 December 2019, the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/74/212), during its 52nd plenary meeting, proclaiming 7 September of each year as International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. The resolution invited the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to facilitate the observance of the International Day, in collaboration with other relevant organizations.
Why do we mark International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies?
Air pollution is a global problem and the single greatest environmental risk to human health. Around 99% of the global population breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits. Each year, air pollution causes about seven million premature deaths – 11.6% of global deaths. Air pollution disproportionately affects women, children, and older persons. In the absence of effective intervention, it is projected that the number of premature deaths resulting from air pollution is on track to increase by more than 50 per cent by 2050. The United Nations member states recognize the need to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous air.
Poor air quality is a challenge in the context of sustainable development for all nations, particularly in cities and urban areas in developing countries. Given the negative impacts of air pollution on quality of life, healthcare costs, work productivity, the climate, the environment, and the economy, it is imperative to improve air quality globally. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that “air pollution abatement is important to the attainment of the sustainable development goals”.
Air pollution is also strongly associated with climate warming. Both result from combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. Today, the international communities acknowledge that improving air quality can help to mitigate climate warming, and that climate change mitigation efforts can improve air quality too. In the era of global warming, there is indeed an additional need to improve air quality and reduce air pollution globally.
Annual theme in recent years:
2023 theme: “Together for Clean Air”.
2022 theme: “The Air We Share”.
2021 theme: “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet”.
2020 theme: “Clean Air for All”.