Air Pollution: Finance

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 14th September 2021.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour, Swansea West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will increase funding ahead of COP26 to tackle air pollution worldwide, particularly in areas where air pollution is increasing, to help countries meet WHO ambient air quality standards and SDG air quality targets.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government recognises the impact of poor air quality on the health and development, particularly of children and older people. Our £340m core voluntary contribution to World Health Organisation represents a significant uplift in UK support and is fully flexible, meaning it will be used across the priorities identified in World Health Organisation's current programme of work, including on the environmental determinants of health through policy and country level support.

As one of the original signatories to the 1979 UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, the UK has long been at the forefront of international action to tackle transboundary air pollution. Through this convention the UK supports international programmes to drive forward scientific understanding of air pollution emissions and their impacts, and engages constructively to agree ambitious standards and emission reduction commitments that encourage action across the Northern Hemisphere and serve as a model for a global response.

The UK has worked with partners to develop the COP26 Health Programme with the aim to support increased ambition on climate and health. This includes the opportunity for countries to make commitments to build their health sector in a way which limits its impact on both carbon emissions and air quality.

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