Air pollution is the world’s number one environmental health risk, linked to more than 7 million deaths every year. But the impacts of worsening air pollution extend beyond human health, affecting climate change, the water cycle, and even energy and food production.
The sources and causes of air pollution are complex, varying between places, across seasons and over time. WRI is working to shift the conversation from how bad the air is to what’s causing pollution and what can be done about it.
We are using science to unravel the air pollution knot to better understand and address source emissions and other factors.
Our working strategy is a combination of sound evidence and political strategy to move from awareness to effective action. Scientists are generating evidence that is striking but unevenly distributed and disconnected from the narratives that move politics and sustain pressure for action.
We need to build the evidence base with a specific focus on evidence that drives action by making the problem more salient, helping groups see and organize around common causes, directing effort to the right places, and allowing courts and regulators to function.
ResourceWatch, in partnership with OpenAQ and others, is one way WRI is helping to improve access to air quality data.