Colombia and Mali leading efforts to improve air quality, new ranking finds
(The Guardian, 18 Oct 2023) Low and middle income countries addressing air pollution in climate plans, while UAE, host of Cop28, among rich nations lagging behind.
Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are leading global efforts to improve air quality as part of national climate plans, according to a ranking that scores Colombia and Mali highest and puts the United Arab Emirates, which will host the Cop28 climate conference next month, among the worst.
Findings of a study by the Global Climate and Health Alliance published on Wednesday show that countries from the global south have the most ambitious strategies to address air pollution and its health impacts, while major polluters – such as the powerful G20 countries – are lacklustre in their commitments.
All but one country in the top 15 spots in the GCHA ranking are from LMICs, including Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ghana, Albania, Bangladesh, Cambodia, El Salvador, Honduras and Sierra Leone.
Jess Beagley, GCHA’s policy lead, said: “It is telling that the countries seeking to take the greatest action on air pollution are often those bearing the brunt of the impacts.”