COP27 panels highlight connections between air quality, health and climate

The United Nations climate meeting, COP27, brought together global leaders to tackle the greatest environmental challenge of our time. EDF air quality experts participated in several panels spotlighting the connection between air quality, health and climate.

The Health-Methane Nexus: Opportunities for Action: A discussion about the intersection between methane mitigation strategies and public health, the importance of elevating health considerations in prioritizing methane mitigation strategies and how to identify opportunities to accelerate action, moderated by EDF Senior VP of Healthy Communities, Sarah Vogel.

The Climate and Health Nexus: A conversation about the intersection between health and climate change, and the importance of coordinated international efforts to tailor policies that also address the pandemic, the recovery and the transition to a net-zero economy. The panel included EDF Senior Policy Director for Global Clean Air, Sergio Sánchez.

Clean Air Catalyst: A Multi-level Approach to Accelerating Action on Air Quality and Climate in Cities: An overview of the work of partners in Indore, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Nairobi, Kenya who are at the forefront of developing integrated approaches to climate and clean air action through the Clean Air Catalyst program. The panel included EDF Senior VP of Healthy Communities, Sarah Vogel.

Webinar: Introducing EDF’s Air Tracker

Environmental Defense Fund hosted a virtual panel discussion about Air Tracker, EDF’s new tool that allows people to better understand how local air pollution behaves. EDF Associate Vice President for Climate and Health Elena Craft moderated the conversation discussion between EDF Senior Air Quality Scientist Tammy Thompson, lead developer of the tool, and EDF Senior Manager in Air Quality Policy Fern Uennatornwaranggoon.

Developed in partnership with the University of Utah and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Air Tracker is part of EDF’s ongoing work to better understand local air pollution, its behavior and its impacts.

Explore the tool here.

Virtual Launch of Catalogue of Indian Emission Inventory Reports

Environmental Defense Fund and The Energy and Resources Institute co-hosted a virtual event celebrating the launch of the Catalogue of Indian Emission Inventory Reports, the first report of its kind for India. This report presents a database of all publicly available Emission Inventory reports to serve as a resource for policymakers and scientists.

Read the full report here.


Linking Air Quality Management to Climate Change Mitigation: COP26 Side Event

The main objective of this event is to call for action by COP26 to catalyze clean air efforts around the world to simultaneously achieve climate, health and sustainable development goals.

This event is being organized jointly by the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Environmental Defense Fund and World Resources Institute. See the full agenda and list of presenters here.

WATCH Day 1 (Nov 10) webinar: Panel 1. The magnitude of the global air pollution challenge and links to climate , moderated by EDF Sr VP Sarah Vogel, and Panel 2: What should be done to make clean air funding commensurate to the magnitude of the global air pollution challenge?” moderated by Adrián Fernández Bremauntz, CEO, Climate Initiative of México.

WATCH Day 2 (Nov 11) webinar: Panel 1. Regional priorities on air pollution for achieving health and climate benefits and best practices at the national level, moderated by  Jessica Seddon, Global Lead for Air Quality at World Resources Institute. Panel 2: Maximizing synergies between air quality management and climate change mitigation actions, moderated by Sergio Sánchez, Senior Policy Director, Global Clean Air Initiative, Environmental Defense Fund. Watch LIVE Nov 11 at 12:30-15:30 GMT or 7:30-10:30am ET here.



October 7, 2021


Michael Brauer
Brauer is a member of the WHO Air Quality Guideline Development Group

For the first time since 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its global air quality recommendations. A consistent, growing body of research suggests that even low levels of air pollution adversely affect health. Based on this evidence, WHO has slashed its recommended limits for six harmful air pollutants and set interim benchmarks for countries to aim for while working to eliminate leading sources of pollution, including fossil fuel and other industrial emissions. During this webinar, University of British Columbia Professor Michael Brauer, a member of the WHO Air Quality Guideline Development Group, will provide an overview of the new guidelines. Experts from the Clean Air Catalyst consortium will follow with a discussion on the implications for work to advance air pollution solutions in low- and middle-income countries. Speakers will include Environmental Defense Fund’s Ananya Roy, World Resources Institute’s Beatriz Cardenas and Vital Strategies’ Sumi Mehta.

The webinar will be helpful for policymakers, practitioners and advocates working to reduce the health- and climate-damaging pollutants that are so harmful to humans and the planet. A Q&A period from participants is included.

The virtual briefing, organized by Clean Air Catalyst, took place on Thursday, October 7, 2021. WATCH THE RECORDING HERE. Representatives of more than 30 countries participated.


How data can supercharge efforts to lower pollution in cities


Some of the major sources of emissions that warm our planet also contribute to local air pollution in cities around the world.

New technology is allowing us to map pollution street-by-street and share unprecedented amounts of pollution data. Environmental Defense Fund have created an interactive map of Greater London based on modelling by Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants, displaying for the first time detailed information on the sources of health-harming air pollution. With a better understanding of which activities are causing pollution and where, leaders and communities can develop targeted solutions that clean the air, mitigate climate change and protect people’s health.

In association with Climate Week NYC, please watch the discussion of key lessons from London, as well as how new efforts to leverage data are shining a light on pollution at a scale and scope across the globe like never before.




China: Workshop on Blue Sky and Low Carbon Actions Empowered by New Technologies

In 2018, the Chinese government launched its three-year action plan for securing bluer skies in China, which set out a roadmap to improve air quality and achieved rapid reductions in air pollutant concentrations nationwide. With China’s recent 14th Five-Year Plan also prioritizing air quality, what are China’s next steps in its campaign against air pollution? How can China’s carbon peaking and neutrality goals interlink with improving air quality?

To answer these questions and more, please join us for the Workshop on Blue Sky and Low Carbon Actions Empowered by New Technologies on April 27, 2021 from 8:30am-6:30pm (Beijing time). The event will share experiences from city governments, research institutes, and companies in China and across the globe on air quality and climate initiatives, as well as promote uptake of cutting-edge technologies, scalable solutions, and effective policy for China in the next stage of its air quality campaign.


Clean Air Catalyst Launch: Accelerating Clean Air Solutions to Deliver Better Health, Climate and Development Outcomes

Watch the recorded live global webinar from Thursday, March 18, 2021 here.

Read more about the mission of the Clean Air Catalyst

Air pollution is the greatest environmental threat to human health – causing more than 6 million premature deaths each year and affecting nearly every organ in the body.  It has profound impacts on climate, agriculture productivity, food security, biodiversity, and economic development.  We are overdue in cleaning up the air.

Join us to learn more about the Clean Air Catalyst, a new flagship program of USAID and a global consortium of organizations led by WRI and EDF.  We are working with communities on the frontlines of this global crisis to better understand local pollution sources and identify solutions that lead to sustained progress on cleaner, healthier air. The first two pilot cities include Indore, India and Jakarta, Indonesia. WRI Indonesia anchors the work in Jakarta.

OpenAQ Global Community Series: Exploring Possibilities with the OpenAQ Low-cost Sensor Pilot Platform

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021

Time: 11:00-12:30pm Eastern Time Zone

Location: virtual (register here)

Why is low-cost sensor data important in the collective fight against air pollution? How does opening up low-cost sensor data on a global scale help shape the future of air quality data coverage and data sharing? This OpenAQ Global Community Series will offer a glimpse into the recently launched OpenAQ Low-cost Sensor Platform, an open-source data infrastructure that harmonizes diverse data sources from around the globe. We’ll be sharing OpenAQ’s motivation behind developing the platform, conducting a short demo on how to access the data on the platform, and facilitating a panel with key partners in the low-cost sensor community.

Breathe London Blueprint Launch: How can data supercharge efforts to lower air pollution in cities?

The evidence is clear: Dirty air is fatal and causes health inequities around the world. New technology is allowing us to map pollution street-by-street, identify hotspots and share unprecedented amounts of air quality data. The Breathe London pilot was an ambitious two-year project that measured pollution across the city using 100 lower-cost sensor ‘pods’ and specially-equipped Google Street View cars, serving as a world-leading example of how emerging technology can help accelerate clean air action.

On February 9, 2021, we held a discussion of key lessons from the pilot project and the launch of the Breathe London Blueprint, as well as how new efforts to leverage air quality data are shining a light on pollution at a scale and scope across the globe like never before.

Environmental Defense Fund released the Breathe London Blueprint to support your city’s future monitoring and air pollution data initiatives, and it can be found here.

Scaling Clean Air Actions by Hyperlocal Air Quality Monitoring: Lessons Learned and Recommendations 

Organized by the Secretariat of the Environment for Mexico City (SEDEMA-CDMX), the Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis (CAMe) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), this webinar shared lessons learned and recommendations from key experienced cities to successfully deploy a hyperlocal monitoring system to strengthen air quality management in the Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area.


  • Sergio Sánchez, Senior Policy Director of Clean Air, Health | Environmental Defense Fund
  • Sarah Vogel, Vice President, Health | Environmental Defense Fund
  • Marina Robles, Secretary of Environment | Mexico City
  • Víctor Hugo Páramo, Executive Coordinator | Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis


  • Elliot Treharne, Head of Air Quality | Greater London Authority
  • Carlos Hoyos, Professor | Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Universidad EAFIT
  • Irene Burga, Air Quality Advisor | City of Los Angeles, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability 
    • Dom Callaghan, Air Quality Officer | Glasgow City Council