UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim urges all to join the BreatheLife campaign to "take back the air"
“In some countries in the world, people are more worried about air pollution than nuclear war! It’s time to take back this planet and breathe cleaner air”, tweeted UN Environment’s Executive Director Erik Solheim.
He suggested that people could bicycle or walk more and leave their cars at home.
His tweet came in the midst of the BreatheLife Challenge that rallied people to leave their cars at home and walk, cycle or take public transport for the distance of a marathon, in order to cut air pollution.
A recent survey by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs found that air pollution topped the list of their concerns– far above that of the threat of nuclear war, which was ranked fifth.
For them, the next few causes for worry after air pollution came economic stagnation, the ageing population and water pollution.
It’s not the first time that a study found that environmental pollution outranked the threat of nuclear war. In October 2017, an annual study conducted by Chapman University in the United States found that the fear of pollution of oceans, rivers, lakes and drinking water ranked ahead of the fear of being involved in another world war or North Korea using its weapons.
Air pollution was only slightly less scary than being involved in a World War or North Korea using its weapons.
Most major cities struggle with keeping air pollution within acceptable levels as set out in guidelines by the World Health Organization, which last month released its latest data and analysis on global air pollution.
The WHO data found that 90 per cent of people were breathing air that fell short of the organization’s air quality guidelines.