Of the 6,475 cities analyzed, only 222 had average air quality that met WHO standards. Three territories were found to be in compliance with WHO guidelines: the French territory of New Caledonia and the United States territory of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were among the countries with the worst air pollution, at least 10 times higher than the guidelines.
The Scandinavian countries, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom were ranked among the best in terms of air quality, with an average level of 1 to 2 times higher than the guidelines.
In the United States, IQAir found that air pollution in 2021 is 2 to 3 times higher than WHO guidelines.
“This report underscores the need for governments around the world to help reduce global air pollution,” IQAir North America CEO Glory Dolphin Hems told CNN. “(Fine particles) kill a lot of people every year and governments need to tighten national air quality standards and find better foreign policies that promote better air quality.”
IQAir analyzed pollution monitoring stations in 6,475 cities in 117 countries, territories and territories.
The authors wrote, “The (US) reliance on fossil fuels, along with the increasing intensity of wildfires, as well as various enforcement of the Clean Air Act from administration to administration, has increased US air pollution,” the authors wrote.
Researchers say that the main sources of pollution in the United States were fossil fuel-powered transportation, energy production and forest fires, which wreak havoc on the country’s most vulnerable and backward communities.
“We rely heavily on fossil fuels, especially transportation,” said Hams, who lives a few miles from Los Angeles. “We can work on it with zero emissions, but we’re still not doing that. And it’s having a devastating effect on the air pollution we’re seeing in big cities.”
“It’s all part of the formula that will lead to or is leading to global warming.” Hemes said.
The report also reveals some inequalities: Monitoring stations are scarce in Africa, South America and some developing countries in the Middle East, resulting in a lack of air quality data in those regions.
“When you don’t have that data, you’re really in the dark,” Hemes said.
Hems noted that the African country of Chad has been included in the report for the first time due to improvements in its monitoring network. IQAir found that the country’s air pollution was second only to Bangladesh in the world last year.
Tariq Benmarhania, a climate change expert at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who has studied the health effects of forest fire fumes, also noted that reliance on monitoring stations alone could lead to blind spots in these reports. Is.
“I think it’s great that they relied on different networks and not just official sources,” Benmarhania, who was not included in the report, told CNN. “However, in many areas there are not enough stations and alternative techniques are available.”
Hemes said the IQAir report is an even greater reason for the world to get rid of fossil fuels.
“We’ve got the report, we can read it, we can internalize it and really dedicate ourselves to taking action,” he said. “We need to take a big step towards renewable energy. We need to take strong action to reverse the tide of global warming; otherwise, the impact and the train on us will be irreversible.”