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Global air quality report reveals new hope for green growth

Environment Programme / Partner story

Photo by Caleb Oquendo

Exciting news – The Clean Air Fund has released a new report showing positive shifts in the state of worldwide air quality funding. In low- and middle- income countries, more international funding went towards supporting projects for clean air than towards projects that involved fossil fuels. 2021 was the first year in history that this pattern was observed, and it is thanks, in part, to global campaigning and awareness efforts by our partner, the Clean Air Fund, and other organisations. Well done to you all for your great work!

Investing in clean air is a key component in addressing and mitigating climate change. Clean air projects improve public health and boost green growth. In fact, The Clean Air Fund’s research revealed that every dollar invested in reducing air pollution can yield thirty dollars of economic benefits. The fund encourages governments and multilateral development banks to explore these long-term benefits by finding new opportunities to fund air quality.

Furthermore, the report showed that more than half of outdoor air quality projects funded had a component that directly addressed climate change. “These findings make it clear that action on air pollution doesn’t sit in isolation,” says Swati Agarwal, programme officer of Oak Foundation’s Environment Programme, “It helps countries meet their goals on climate and health while yielding multifold economic benefits.”

This report, entitled The State of Global Air Quality Funding, is released yearly, and provides the only global analysis of international development aid towards outdoor air quality. This research builds transparency and provides actionable evidence to be used by policy makers, funders, and campaigners. It is key in the global effort to bring clean air for all.

Oak supports the work of the Clean Air Fund under the Energy sub-Programme within our Environment Programme, which supports efforts to reduce global dependency on fossil fuels and end offshore oil and gas exploration. The Clean Air Fund is a global philanthropic organisation that works with governments, funders, businesses and campaigners to create a future where everyone breathes clean air. You can read more about its work here.