WED 2019 – Beat Air Pollution

WED 2019 – Beat Air Pollution

Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019, “Beat Air Pollution,” is a call to action call to combat this global crisis. This year’s topic invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce, and thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health.

What Causes Air Pollution?

  • Household –
    • The main source of household air pollution is the indoor burning of fossil fuels, wood and other biomass-based fuels to cook, heat and light homes.
  • Industry –
    • In many countries, energy production is a leading source of air pollution.
    • Coal-burning power plants are a major contributor, while diesel generators are a growing concern in off-grid areas.
  • Transport –
    • The global transport sector accounts for almost one-quarter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and this proportion is rising.
    • Transport emissions have been linked to nearly 400,000 premature deaths.
  • Agriculture –
    • There are two major sources of air pollution from agriculture: livestock, which produces methane and ammonia, and the burning of agricultural waste.
    • Around 24 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide come agriculture, forestry and other land-use.
  • Waste –
    • Open waste burning and organic waste in landfills release harmful dioxins, furans, methane, and black carbon into the atmosphere.
    • Globally, an estimated 40 percent of waste is openly burned. 
  • Other sources –
    • Not all air pollution comes from human activity.
    • Volcanic eruptions, dust storms and other natural processes also cause problems. 
    • Sand and dust storms are particularly concerning.


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