Recently, the Clean Air Fund, a philanthropic organization working to deliver clean air for all, released their annual report. The UK-based group looks at how much money donor governments and other philanthropic organizations spend on the fight against air pollution.
According to their data, under 0.1% of philanthropic grants and less than 1% of development spending were allotted for clean air. This led the group to declare dirty air to be more serious than the current Covid19 pandemic when it comes to fatalities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) have both cited air pollution as one of the deadliest problems in the world. Two-thirds of air pollution is connected to fossil fuels burning.
According to the report, there was a lot of official spending for fossil fuel projects to be prolonged in 2019 and 2020. Asian countries in particular got over 80% of development aid for the fight against air pollution from 2015 to 2020.
China received 45% of funding, having declared a “war against pollution” after their air quality lowered considerably in 2013. University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute recently published the annual Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) which found that China has been able to reduce their particulate pollution by nearly a third.
Clean Air Fund executive director Jane Burston said that more aid should be sent towards areas where crisis aversion can occur. As a result, the report hopes that grant spending will move towards things like awareness campaigns and data gathering in areas with underfunded research.
“A more equitable distribution… looks like funding going more to the countries that are rapidly urbanizing,” Burston told Agence-France Presse, “especially in Africa where air pollution is massively on the rise.”
At present, the UN blames around 7 million deaths annually on air pollution. The World Health Organization finds that nine out of every 10 people breathe air their guidelines deem unhealthy.