Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has assessed outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans. If we reduce air pollution levels, there is strong evidence that we can reduce illness and death from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases, such as asthma.
Policies to support reducing the combustion of fossil fuels, with cleaner transport and power generation, are needed to reduce key sources of outdoor air pollution. As well as providing direct benefits, reducing outdoor air pollution has the added indirect benefit of reducing climate pollutants such as emissions of CO2, black carbon particles and methane, thus helping to protect health against worsening climate change.