Addis Ababa Signs onto C40 Clean Air Declaration 

ADDIS ABABA – Addis Ababa and nine major African cities signed the C40 clean air declaration ahead of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference.

The announcement was made last week at an event organized by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, at the 9th Africities Summit held in Kenya’s Kisumu last week.

Apart from Ethiopia’s capital, Abidjan, Accra, Dakar, Ekurhuleni, Freetown, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Tshwane joined a global cohort of 38 signatory cities of the declaration. 

‘Ambitious Targets’

By signing the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, C40 says the mayors of the cities recognize that breathing clean air is a human right and commit to work toward safer air quality that meets World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines. The declaration sets a framework for cities around the world to improve air quality. 

Within two years, signatories to the declaration will establish baseline levels and set ambitious reduction targets for air pollutants that meet or exceed national commitments, the group says.

The targets will put the cities on a path towards meeting WHO Air Quality Guidelines for particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and sulphur dioxide, it added.

Addis Ababa’s commitment

Ethiopia’s capital is expected to establish city-wide baseline air quality levels and reduce major sources of air pollution by implementing emissions standards for vehicles including passenger vehicles, buses and trucks by 2025. 

“Addis Ababa City has committed to improve air quality and build a clean and healthy city,” said Mayor Adanech Ablebie, in the C40’s statement. 

“We are working to increase the coverage of air quality monitor data for better intervention and to reduce air pollution-related health burdens on the city’s residents,” she said. “Our air quality management plan will help us to achieve our goal.”

Expected Outcomes’

The mayors network says 59 million people across the ten African cities would benefit from cleaner air and improved health through commitments that could prevent as many as air pollution-related 10,000 early deaths, and over 300,000 hospitalisations.

This could result in 9.4 billion US dollars in annual savings from averted deaths and hospitalisations, the C40 says. 

The C40, through its newly launched the African Cities for Clean Air Program, plans to support African cities to achieve their commitments through capacity building, regionally focused peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, and collaboration centered on air quality best practices.

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