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Aviation: Air Pollution

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL9741, tabled on 28 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the State of Global Air Report 2020, published by the Health Effects Institute in October, in particular its finding that air pollution contributed to nearly 500,000 deaths among infants in their first month of life in 2019.

Answered on

11 November 2020

We welcome the Health Effects Institute's 'State of Global Air' report highlighting the issue of air quality and its impact on health. The World Health Organization estimates that household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels contributes to 3-4 million premature deaths every year, which is more than malaria and tuberculosis combined. Research has also shown that indoor air pollution exacerbates the impact of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.

Women and children, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries, are disproportionally affected by indoor air pollution. The Government has made a commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children in the developing world by 2030. This includes delivering quality essential health services and promoting healthier lives and environments.

Our International Climate Finance includes up to £1 billion for the Ayrton Fund, which includes support for research, development and demonstration of new clean energy technologies with the potential to improve air quality, health outcomes, and reduce carbon emissions in developing countries. The £38 million FCDO-funded Modern Energy Cooking Services research programme is working towards universal access to clean and affordable cooking technologies. Such technologies have the potential to displace harmful cooking practices used by almost 3 billion people in the developing world, helping to eliminate indoor air pollution and the preventable deaths it causes.