By Arvind Kumar, Founder and Managing Trustee, Lung Care Foundation of India; Jane Burston
Executive Director, Clean Air Fund; Josh Karliner, International Director for Program and Strategy, Health Care Without Harm.
Mohd Aram | Unsplash
As the coronavirus pandemic impacts millions across the world and brings economies to a grinding halt, there is a lot of talk about how emissions from fossil fuel combustion have dropped radically in many countries. Yet this is no solution to air pollution and climate change. For while eerily empty cities may be bathed in blue skies, millions are suddenly out of work and wondering how they are going to care for their families.
The poor and most vulnerable will suffer most from both the health impacts and the economic crisis. Cleaner air for a few months may be a tiny silver lining to COVID-19’s dark clouds, but will do little in the long run to solve the problem of outdoor air pollution that kills more than four million people every year. For that we need to kick our habit of burning coal, oil and gas.