17th IUAPPA World Clean Air Congress and 9th Better Air Quality Conference
Busan, South Korea
29th August - 2nd September 2016
With more than 1,100 stakeholders participating, over 40 exhibitors, and close to 60 countries represented, the joint meeting of the 9th CAA Better Air Quality Conference and the 17th IUAPPA World Clean Air Congress became another milestone in the fight against air pollution and the quest for more livable cities for people across Asia and the world. A stronger commitment to transformative policy action was forged to help improve air quality in cities around Asia.
With the theme, Clean Air for Cities – Perspectives and Solutions, among the conference highlights and takeaways were:
- The figure of 7 million premature deaths from air pollution annually reported by the WHO has been further substantiated. Other work, discussed at the Conference, pointed to a broadly similar conclusion. It also emphasized that it is not just China that faces a formidable problem but other Asian countries also. The largest potential for deteriorating air quality is now in India, while Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam are also high on the list of countries where premature mortality attributable to air pollution is growing rapidly.
- For at least another generation, through to 2030, the current level of premature mortality will continue to rise as a result of the age structure of the population. Mitigation policies, such as those now being developed by China and some other countries, can reduce the rising toll but, until 2030, not below current levels.
- International organizations and cooperative programmes (i.e. WHO, IEA, and CCAC) joined in urging early and more transformative action by countries in Asia and across the world. The large potential social and economic benefits from reducing emissions of pollutants that cause health damage and the availability of cost-effective and technically feasible mitigation measures make arguments against pursuing transformative action unsustainable.
- Latest scientific evidence presented indicates that without immediate action on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – predominantly the same pollutants that damage human health – it will be impossible to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as proposed in the Paris Accord. The urgent action to secure the early benefits of SLCP mitigation is now essential rather than optional for achieving longer-term international climate targets.
- We call for the adoption of a two-pronged approach that emphasizes reducing the near-term rate of warming and keeping the long-term peak below dangerous levels to achieve the climate target and sustainable development goals at the local, national and global levels. Such an approach would appropriately reflect the multiple benefits associated with quick actions to mitigating both short-lived climate pollutants and long-lived greenhouse gases.
Main messages, presentations, insights, and photos from the conference are available on the following links:
Plenary and BAQ Session Presentations