In the News
Continuing G20 Outreach
As the world deals with the global pandemic, GAHP has continued active outreach work attending C20 and T20 virtual meetings and participating in various working groups to advocate for measures that address pollution and health.
C20 for G20
As part of C20, the Civil Society Engagement Group to the G20, GAHP is helping to remind world leaders of those who left behind in the development process by working collaboratively to create policy recommendations. With GAHP’s input, C20 is, for the first time, drawing attention to pollution and health. GAHP is calling on G20 countries to:
- Pay attention to the links between pollution, especially air pollution, and respiratory illnesses and to take action to prevent and mitigate the impacts of air pollution both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
- Add provisions to ensure investment in green growth and pollution prevention when reopening economies and implementing stimulus/bailout packages.
- Start planning now for investments that not only produce returns for the economy, but also for the health and well-being for all.
T20 Virtual Meeting
In mid-June, GAHP Acting Executive Director Rachael Kupka presented GAHP’s policy brief “Targeting Pollution to Improve Health and Mitigate Climate Change” to the T20 (Think Tank 20) Working Group. Among the key messages conveyed were:
- Pollution is the single largest environmental risk factor for premature death globally, a significant contributing factor to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major driver of climate change, and a burden on economic growth.
- Despite these enormous costs, pollution has not received adequate international attention or resources, including in G20 countries.
- The intersection of pollution with health, climate change, and economic growth, and the rapid pace at which results can be felt and measured makes pollution mitigation a valuable and powerful G20 opportunity for action.
- As economies restart, G20 countries should work to prevent the adverse health and economic outcomes of global pandemics by committing to ensuring clean air, water and soil for all. Specifically, G20 should commit to reducing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations by 25% by 2030.
T20 For G20
GAHP was also invited to participate in the T20 (Think Tank 20) statement for the G20 Working Group meeting on Blue Carbon Economy. At the meeting, GAHP called for efforts to:
- Protect forests, mangroves and coastal wetlands from the massive incursion of land-based pollution sources including industrial effluent and aquaculture (fish farming).
- Restore wetlands and degraded contaminated lands.
- Reduce contamination of land-based sources of mercury pollution, especially from artisanal gold mining to protect large pelagic ocean species and food security.
- Bring about regulatory and fiscal measures that mandate and incentivize the reduction of industrial and agricultural sources of pollution.
U20 Virtual Meeting
- In July, GAHP attended a virtual U20 meeting of cities focused on urban problems and solutions.