Take a look at your surroundings today. Or better stand at a safe place on a busy road and count the motors rushing by. And then just look at how much smoke and dust is released into the air we breathe. In the near future, there is every chance that along with shops and malls for textiles, there will be a huge market for Air masks, portable air filters and easy to carry Oxygen cylinders. Attire suitable to accommodate purified oxygen cylinders will be part of our daily wear. Many of you would think this is funny and is never going to happen. But think again, did anyone think that there would be a generation who needs to buy drinking water? So if that can happen, there is every chance that oxygen will also turn into a commodity consumers need to buy.
According to WHO reports, less than 8% of the population has air which meets the WHO air quality levels. The rest of the population is inhaling air which has alarmingly higher levels. The presence of high amount of air pollutants causes a rapid decline in air quality.
There is a long list of diseases which arise from air pollution. Some of them are
· cardiovascular diseases
· pulmonary diseases
· lung cancer
· respiratory infections
Sources of Air pollution include
· Combustion of gasoline and other hydrocarbon fuels in automobiles
· Industrial waste,
· The burning of plastics and household waste
· Uncontrolled and inefficient emissions from vehicles.
WHO Ambient Air Quality Guidelines
10 μg/m3 annual mean
25 μg/m3 24-hour mean
20 μg/m3 annual mean
50 μg/m3 24-hour mean
For further information
WHO Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health
Telephone: +41 22 791 4475
Mobile: +41 79 445 1624
Email: [email protected]
WHO Department of Communications
Telephone: +41 22 791 2885
Mobile: +41 79 603 1891
Email: [email protected]
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At the recent Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CLPC) meeting, some of the world’s most powerful leaders have shown solidarity by jointly calling for an expansion in the coverage of carbon pricing. This move could be quite significant as it aims at building 25% coverage within the next 4 years. The move aims at getting the top polluters of the environment to answer for their actions and literally pay the price for increased carbon emissions.
The CLPC was officially launched at the COP21 that was held in Paris in 2014. The CLPC has more than 20 national and state governments, along with non-profit organizations and other global agencies. On October 19th2015, The Carbon Pricing Panel was begun by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde along with the steady and unwavering support of various heads of state and global leaders in the business sector.
This international consortium boasts of some of the most powerful names in recent times. Some of the most famous ones are:
· The Prime Ministers of Canada and Ethiopia
· The Presidents of France, Chile and Mexico
· The Chancellor of Germany,
· World Bank Group President,
· IMF Managing Director, etc.
All these world leaders have unanimously called for a better global cooperation aimed at completely stopping carbon emissions that is one of the known and most significant factors contributing towards the Greenhouse effect. If the major carbon emitters in the world started levying carbon charges it would in effect reduce global emissions by over 10%. Many environmentalists feel this could be a major step towards a healthier planet.
The CLPC have already released A Vision Statement which it feels will assume paramount importance in the coming months. This 3-step program aims to increase the level of participation and cooperation between the countries of the world, thereby uniting in the efforts to put a price on carbon emissions.
If the horrendous facts are to be believed, Kenya has been a literal killing field these past few years. According to a recent study conducted by a foreign university ruthless and greedy poachers have killed at least 100,000 African elephants from the year 2010 to 2012. Their main target is the valuable ivory that these poor creatures possess. Ivory is pretty expensive and is still in wide demand in Asian markets.
But Kenya is now sending out a very powerful and evocative message: We want our elephants alive, not dead. In what many believe to be a very significant move, Kenyan Wildlife authorities burned more than 105 tons of elephant and rhino tusks. It would take over 5000 dead animals to produce this much of ivory. The number is indicative of the potentially strong market these items still enjoy.
In effect, Kenya has burned around $150 million worth of ivory. Kenya expects the world to notice this event. In a very poignant message, Kenyan officials have reiterated that they prefer their animals alive. Tourism in Kenya has centered on its many National parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Such mass killings have put many hapless creatures on the road to permanent extinction.