Cities and rural areas will have to work together and we cannot focus on transport and industry alone
New guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) have reset the yardsticks for acceptable air pollution. The guideline for nitrogen dioxide has been reduced by 75% and that for particle pollution (PM2.5) has been halved. It is now up to governments, industry and communities to meet the challenge.
It would be easy to focus on the most polluted places in the world and think that clean air is unachievable. But the WHO guidelines are based on air pollution conditions that already exist. For example, the levels of particle pollution in many towns across North America and Scandinavia already meet the new guidelines. Many major cities including Vancouver, Honolulu and Stockholm also have very low particle pollution.