Air pollution is a global problem with far-reaching impacts due to its transboundary nature. It is one of the greatest environmental risks to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally causing an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year. To mobilize global action to address air pollution, the United Nations General Assembly designated 7 September as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies and invites stakeholders to observe the day and to "give consideration to enhancing international cooperation in support of the efforts of all Member States towards attaining clean air."

The theme of the 2022 International Day is “The Air We Share.”

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and United Nations Environment Programme North America Office are hosting a dialogue focused on lessons learned from successful clean air efforts in Canada, Mexico and the United States. WRI CEO and President Ani Dasgupta, UNEP Director for North America Barbara Hendrie, and CEC Executive Director Daniel Taillant will provide opening remarks for the event.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Jane Nishida, U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs
  • Cecile Siewe, Acting Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Protection Branch at Environment and Climate Change
  • Miguel Zerón, Head of the Coordinating Unit of International Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico (SEMARNAT)

A panel discussion follows on The Way Forward for Clean Air in North America and Beyond moderated by Beatriz Cardenas, WRI’s Global Air Quality Director. Gary Kleiman of Orbis Air, will highlight key lessons from UNEP’s Actions on Air Quality in North America report relevant to policymakers and decisionmakers in other parts of the world facing air pollution challenges. Edie Chang, Deputy Executive Officer of California Air Resources Board, will focus the state’s approach to reducing air pollution in economically disadvantaged communities. Susan Anenberg, Director Climate and Health Institute, George Washington University will speak about the critical role of subnational action to drive air pollution and health gains around the world. And Orlando Cabrera-Rivera, Head of Unit for Environmental Quality, CEC, will highlight new regional initiatives to expand environmental justice and climate action through integrated air quality planning.

This event will be available in English, French and Spanish.


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