Clean Air Fund to Accelerate Public-Private Solutions to Air Pollution

24 Sep 2019

Alem Tedeneke, Public Engagement+1 646 204 9191, Email:

  • More than 90% of people breathe polluted air, and the world will lose $2.6 trillion by 2060 if outdoor air pollution is not tackled
  • The Clean Air Fund is a new philanthropic initiative to achieve clean air for all
  • The Clean Air Fund and World Economic Forum will work together to establish public-private initiatives to accelerate solutions to air pollution
  • Follow the 2019 Sustainable Development Impact Summit at

New York, USA, 24 September 2019 – A new partnership between the World Economic Forum and the Clean Air Fund launches today to support initiatives to achieve clean air for all and will work with governments, civil society, the health sector and businesses to accelerate solutions to air pollution.

Ninety percent of people breathe polluted air and almost 100% of cities breach World Health Organization guidelines for clean air. About 4.2 million deaths are caused by outdoor air pollution each year, including 300,000 children under the age of 5. In the 15 countries that have the highest greenhouse gas emissions, the health impact of air pollution is estimated to cost more than 4% of GDP. The OECD estimates that the world will lose $2.6 trillion by 2060 if outdoor air pollution is not tackled.

The private sector can improve air quality through various routes, including lowering emissions in supply chains to, innovating clean technologies and products, and raising awareness of the issue with employees and supporting them to commute in climate and air friendly ways.

“Air pollution is at the crossroads of mobility, health, energy and environment, and will require joint innovative solutions from public and private stakeholders,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum. “The Forum’s platform, tackling global and local issues through a systemic approach, is the right one to create impact and make a difference on this pressing issue.”

With a focus on health, climate, mobility and children, the Clean Air Fund has projects underway in the UK, Poland, India and China to deepen the field of air pollution research and action and to build alliance across sectors to scale solutions.

The Clean Air Fund will deliver concrete action through multistakeholder initiatives and by increasing the level of funding to air pollution activities globally.

“Air pollution is a global public health emergency,” said Jane Burston, Executive Director of the Clean Air Fund. “Institutions, governments and philanthropy are taking action – businesses now need to get involved. We need to solve the air pollution crisis in order to support healthy communities around the world to realize their potential.”

The Clean Air Fund and the World Economic Forum will work together to ensure public-private initiatives can be established. At the World Economic Forum the Environment, Energy, Cities, Health and Mobility Platforms are all working on the issue, in collaboration with leading industry partners.

About the Sustainable Development Impact Summit:

The Sustainable Development Impact Summit takes place in New York, 23-24 September in New York. This year’s meeting will convene more than 800 regional and global leaders from government, business, civil society and academia. The meeting will explore four themes: transforming markets; accelerating climate action; financing sustainable development; and mobilizing action for inclusive societies.

The Co-Chairs of the Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2019 are Jesper Brodin, CEO and President, Ingka Group (IKEA Retail, Ingka Centres, Ingka Investments); Sebastián Piñera Echenique, President of Chile; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; and Melati Wijsen, Co-Founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags.

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