Media Coverage

Tackling the Interconnected Challenges of Climate Change and Air Pollution

Japan News op-ed argues for addressing climate change and air pollution simultaneously to generate climate and health co-benefits.

On 9 December 2023, The Japan News published an opinion piece by Mahesti Okitasari (Consultant, UNU-IAS) calling for tackling climate change and air pollution together. 

Highlighting the prevalent issue of air pollution in cities and particularly in developing countries, the piece underlines the interconnectedness between air quality and climate change and discusses how policies addressing one issue can positively affect the other, stressing the potential for policy synergies. 

It argues that by highlighting the health benefits of air pollution measures, policymakers and health advocates can encourage clean energy access policies contributing to achieving climate goals.  


Reducing the number of cities with severe air pollution would constitute a win-win opportunity to halt the impact of climate change and simultaneously protect human health. The COP28 climate talks now underway in Dubai should not miss the chance to build public support and catalyze national commitments and international funding to improve air quality and achieve climate and health co-benefits. It is about time that COP28 raises the political profile of the climate health nexus and tackles both climate change and air pollution together to put an end to our global air quality crisis.

The Japan News is the English-language sister publication of Japan’s highest-circulation daily newspaper, The Yomiuri Shimbun.  

The full article is available on The Japan News website and in print. 

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