$30m Breathe Cities project launched to combat air pollution globally

Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Clean Air Fund, and C40 Cities have announced the launch of a $30 million clean air initiative to mark the start of London Climate Week. The announcement was made by Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Sadiq Khan, the Chair of C40 – a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities united in action to confront the climate crisis.

white and brown city buildings during daytime

Breathe Cities will fund technical support, air quality data, community engagement, capacity building and more will be provided to a group of cities to be announced later this year. 

The programme will focus on four main areas:

Data and Research: Expand the availability of local air quality data through the use of innovative new technologies and research into causes of air pollution to provide local governments with evidence for implementing and enforcing new policies.

Stakeholder and Community Engagement: Engage local campaigns and grassroots organizers to build awareness and support for air quality action, especially for communities most affected by air pollution. 

Technical Policy Assistance: Support local governments and city halls to develop and deliver clean air policies by providing technical assistance and capacity building to support policymakers in identifying and implementing solutions

Lesson Sharing: Share learnings across cities to help other cities to act. 

Michael R. Bloomberg said: ‘Cities around the world are proving that, with the right technology and support, they can reduce air pollution, protect public health, and fight climate change. Building on the effective work of London and others, our new Breathe Cities initiative brings together strong partners to help even more local leaders craft ambitious and equitable policies that can save and improve lives.’

Sadfiq Khan said: ‘As Chair of C40 Cities, I am committed to working collaboratively across national borders and city boundaries to tackle air pollution and address the climate crisis. Toxic air pollution is a public health crisis in many of our cities – leading to premature death and chronic disease. Countries in the Global South – which have contributed the least to climate change throughout history – are most severely affected, bearing the brunt of climate chaos.

‘In my own city, to help drive down emissions, we are expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide, meaning five million more Londoners can breathe cleaner air. I’m proud that this partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Clean Air Fund, and C40 Cities will enable cities across the globe to drive down emissions and tackle the air pollution crisis head on.’


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