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Clean Air Should Be Recognized As A Human Right

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Opinion: A breath of clean air should be a human right
David R. Boyd, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and the environment and associate professor at the University of British Columbia

“…Air pollution clearly violates the rights to life and health, the rights of the child, and the right to live in a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. The good news … is that air pollution is almost entirely preventable. The solutions are known — from regulation of fossil fuels and crop burning to clean technologies. … Making the switch to clean cooking stoves and fuels needs to be a global priority. … Other proven solutions to reducing air pollution include replacing coal-fired electricity with renewables, emphasizing walking and cycling in cities, electrifying public transit, ending fossil fuel subsidies, improving waste management, and helping farmers to shift to cleaner practices. Everyone needs to breathe clean air. That billions of people today are breathing dirty and deadly air constitutes a global environmental crisis. Urgent action from governments across the world is needed. Not only do we have an opportunity to save tens of millions of lives in the decades ahead by reducing air pollution, we have a moral obligation to do so” (6/5).