$50m philanthropic clean air fund launched

A $50m philanthropic fund has launched to help tackle outdoor air pollution around the world.

First announced at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in September, the Clean Air Fund has $50m in initial funding, which is nearly double what was the philanthropic community raised for air pollution support in the whole of 2018.

Donations have come from philanthropic foundations with a range of focus areas, including health, climate, mobility, and children.

As part of the launch, which was supported by The Wellcome Trust, a report was released that detailed the historical lack of philanthropic support for air pollution and summarises the trends for funding.

In 2017, $800 was spent by foundations for every HIV-related death while just $7 was spent by foundations for every death related to outdoor air pollution.

While the number of foundations funding air quality projects increased from 9 in 2015 to 29 in 2018, three-quarters of funding was spent on air quality projects in just three countries: China, India and the USA.

Funding partners include IKEA Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Oak Foundation, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the FIA Foundation.


Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation. said ‘Our aim at the IKEA Foundation is to create a better everyday life for families, and fight and cope with climate change. Air pollution affects everyone’s health, especially young children’s, and has the same underlying causes as those of climate change. The Clean Air Fund tackles both issues: improving air quality and accelerating climate action.’

Sheila Watson, deputy eirector of the FIA Foundation added: ‘Half of the world’s population–including more than 300 million children–live in cities which expose them to high concentrations of pollutants potentially leaving them with a lifetime of respiratory, cardiac, and even developmental issues.

‘Too little is being done to address the role of vehicles in this problem. The movement of people must be prioritised over the movement of vehicles.

‘FIA Foundation is delighted to be one of the first funders of the Clean Air Fund as it works on these issues across the world.’

Find out more about the fund here.

Photo Credit – Pixabay


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