September 7- International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

The UN General Assembly on January 22, 2020, through resolution A/Res/74/212, recognized the day of September 7 as the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. The first-ever International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies was celebrated in 2020 with the theme of "Clean Air for All."

This year (2021), the day is being celebrated with the theme of “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet.”

Through the resolution, the UN GA reaffirmed its resolution 70/1 of September 25, 2015, entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, in which it adopted a comprehensive, far-reaching, and people-centered set of universal and transformative Sustainable Development Goals and targets, its commitment to working tirelessly for the full implementation of the Agenda by 2030. In the Agenda, the UN expressed its obligations to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social, and environmental – balanced and integrated.

The day is a product of the UN’s realization of the need to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination by 2030, as well as to reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying particular attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management by 2030,

Air pollution is not only directly threatening the health of individuals and the planet, but it is also directly impacting the social and cultural life of the people and community, facing high levels of air pollution. Air pollution thus has a more significant challenge to sustainable development.

The day is celebrated to raise awareness and gather solidarity and cooperation in international, regional, and sub-regional levels towards improving the air quality for a sustainable community and planet. 

Clean Air and Sustainable Development Goals

In the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled “The future we want,” countries committed to promoting sustainable development policies that support healthy air quality in the context of sustainable cities and human settlements. Also, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlines a road map to achieving sustainable development, environmental protection, and prosperity for all, recognizes that air pollution abatement is important to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Relevant Resources

1. United Nations Environmental Program 

2. UN Conference on Environment and Development, 1992 (Earth Summit)

3. Agenda 21 adopted at the Earth Summit

4. International Commission on Sustainable Development 

5. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

6. UN GA reaffirmed its resolution 70/1

7. UN GA resolution A/Res/74/212

8. United Nations Environment Assembly resolution 3/8 of December 6, 2017 

9. World Health Assembly resolution 68.8 of May 26, 2015 

10. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific resolution 75/4 of May 31, 2019

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Shishir Lamichhane 

Attorney, Roya Institute Representative in Nepal