World Environment Day High-Level Dialogue
Beat Air Pollution: The Need for a Multi-Level Response

3 June 2019 | 12:00-13:30
International Environment House II


World Environment DAy 2019

On 5 June 2019, World Environment Day will focus on the theme of air pollution — a call for action to combat one of the greatest environmental emerging challenges of our time.
World Environment Day invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our daily lives to reduce air pollution, which in turn can both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit people’s health.

Often you can’t even see it, but air pollution is everywhere and affects your health from head to toe. With every breath, you are probably sucking in tiny particles that attack your lungs, heart and brain.

Nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed World Health Organization safe levels. Around seven million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, 5.6 million deaths are from noncommunicable diseases and 1.5 million from pneumonia. Air pollution causes a host of other problems, including illness and lower IQs. Beyond causing respiratory diseases, air pollution is a major cause of heart attacks, lung cancer and stroke in people.

It doesn’t just impact human health, it also impacts global warming, economic growth and our natural environment. Air pollution decreases the oxygen supply in our oceans, making it harder for plants to grow and as such, contributes to climate change. The good news is that air pollution is largely avoidable and its negative consequences are preventable. Solutions are known and can be implemented. The world needs to act now.

High-Level Dialogue Monday 3 June

To celebrate World Environment Day in Geneva, a High-Level Dialogue, organized within the Geneva Environment Network framework, discussed with key stakeholders based in the region, the successful experiences that need to be scaled-up to tackle air pollution at the global, regional, national and local levels, as a major contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The event took place at the International Environment House on Monday 3 June, from 12:00-13:30, and was followed by a reception.


Links and other resources




Opening statements

Bruno POZZI, Director, Europe Office, UN Environment Programme

Olga ALGAYEROVA, Executive Secretary, UNECE

Antonio HODGERS, President, State Council, Geneva Canton

Marc CHARDONNENS, State Secretary for the Environment, Switzerland

Dialogue on multi-level engagement to combat air pollution

Olga ALGAYEROVA, Executive Secretary, UNECE

Bruno POZZI, Director, Europe Office, UN Environment Programme

Nathalie ROEBBEL, Coordinator, Air Pollution and Urban Health, World Health Organization

Pavel KABAT, Chief Scientist, World Meteorological Organization

Marc CHARDONNENS, State Secretary for the Environment, Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland

Philippe ROYER, Directeur, Service de l'air, du bruit et des rayonnements non ionisants, State of Geneva

Thierry LASSUS, CEO, ABB Sécheron Ltd.

Moderator: Pierre QUIBLIER, Programme Officer, Chemicals and Health Branch, UN Environment Programme

Reception offered by the Swiss Federal Council, State Council of the State of Geneva and Executive Councily of the City of Geneva



The event was live on facebook with some technical problems (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4).



The pictures of the event are available on the BRS MEAs Flick Album.