Following up on a previous article about international cooperation when fighting air pollution, I wanted to talk about how we can support it to make it efficient and effective. The reality is that cooperation needs to be supported by investment and logistic support.
What can be noticed right away when looking at air pollution is the correlation between poverty and air pollution levels. The differences between developed countries and low/mid income countries are massive.
Everybody agrees that the first step towards fighting air pollution is collecting data to know better what government and local policy makers must face. The reality is that there is roughly 1 ground monitor for 370k people in the USA when in some African countries it is 1 for 65 million. Starting from here, it seems useless to give guidelines on how to fight something that some have so little knowledge about.
The need for ground air monitor is even more important due to a recent study showing that satellites are not reliable and effective enough to monitor and provide data of air pollution.
Of course, the guidelines provide good information and guidance, but the needs are a lot more important and very down-to-earth. Poverty is one of the main causes of air pollution as we can see in low-income countries. The help of World Bank is much needed to equip countries with Ground monitor. And is proved doable as World Bank helped Mexico City investing not less than 4.4 billion dollars over the last 50 years into the city fight against air pollution.
One of the factors of high air pollution levels in poor countries is indoor air pollution. Because of the use of coal fired power plants in non-developed countries. Furthermore, guidelines are integrated in a sustainable development logic because air pollution is directly corelated to environmental issues and global warming. Hebei’s province is very good example of the impact the help of World Bank can have in those cases.
The program has supported the effective implementation of key measures in Hebei’s five-year action plan on air pollution control by bringing global knowledge and international best practices”, says Qiao Xiaolin who leads the implementation of the program.
To conclude, international cooperation is a good start when fighting air pollution, but it needs to be backed up by real and concrete investment in order to be effective and change things.