The Clean Air Institute (CAI) unveiled today a comprehensive draft clean air strategy for Latin America and Caribbean cities and invited support from public and private organizations with an interest in the region.
"We are proposing a much-needed framework for the region and an action plan to improve air quality and fight global warming," said Sergio Sanchez, executive director of CAI. "Through the Strategy, cities, stakeholders, governments and individuals can work together to achieve their goals of a healthy living environment."
Sanchez said the Institute is circulating the document to government officials, policy makers, private sector associations, non-government organizations, and other interested entities throughout the region. The Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 2006 to support the efforts of cities to cope with smog, urbanization and global warming. Dr. Mario Molina, who received the 1995 Nobel Prize on Chemistry for his scientific contribution for protecting the planet’s ozone layer, serves as the chair of the Institute’s board.
Sanchez explained that air pollution in
Latin America has been blamed for more than 35,000 premature deaths (WHO, 2005), around 4.5 million total healthy years lost, and productivity losses up to 2% of national GDP’s.
Latin America is also particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. He added that the Strategy will strengthen current efforts and foster new collaboration, thus improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in tandem.
Sanchez said the members of the Clean Air Initiative for Latin American and
Cities (CAI-LAC) are being asked to endorse the plan, and he expects that endorsements will also come from a wide range of cities, countries and interested public and private sector agencies.