Air Pollution in Fast-Growing Cities Poses Premature Death Risk

Ten more African cities have signed on to the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration to improve air quality. C40 is an international group of mayors collaborating to make cities environmentally sustainable.

In May 2022, Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Ekurhuleni, Freetown, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Tshwane joined Durban, the first African city to sign the declaration.

As part of the C40 pledge, city leaders have committed to actions to tackle air pollution and slow human-caused changes in climate. These include actions such as setting targets that follow the World Health Organisation's clean air guidelines.

This is a welcome commitment, as air pollution is a leading burden on global health. More than 6.5 million people die prematurely from exposure to air pollution each year worldwide. And air quality is worsening in African cities during a period of rapid growth and development. African cities are forecast to grow by 3 - 31% annually from now until the end of the century. This is far steeper than growth rates in Indian cities, at about 1 - 3% per year, reports Karn Vohra and Eloise Marais for The Conversation.

InFocus

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