With a growing global population, the absolute numbers exposed to pollutants will increase unless urgent policies are implemented and actions taken on the ground. Pollution can have a particularly disproportionate and negative effect on the poor, the disadvantaged and the vulnerable. Consequently, pollution constitutes a significant impediment to achieving health, well-being, prosperity and the sustainable development goal to “leave no one behind”. Solutions and success stories abound to help clean up pollutants and detoxify our environment. The longer we wait, the greater the extent of our exposure and the cost of the clean-up. Now is the time for action.
Towards a Pollution-Free Planet is the theme of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly. In line with this theme, UN Environment's Executive Director is preparing an official report on pollution, which outlines global pollution challenges; describes how acting on pollution helps achieve the sustainable development goals; and discusses a framework for a global agenda to address pollution. This report will be available in all UN languages in late October.
UN Environment has also prepared a background report that provides detailed evidence of a polluted planet, while also describing potential actions to address the problem. The background report was launched on 28 September and can be downloaded here.