International Day of Clean Air for blue skies | UPSC

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International Day of Clean Air for blue skies _ UPSC

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies | UPSC


CSE calls for a ‘green’ recovery action plan on first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

      WHY IN NEWS:

It is a Global efforts to reduce pollution and its effects receive an advocacy boost as the world marks the first-ever International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: UN observances


For PRELIMS please note down the important facts related to this event in your Prelims book ! Since this is the first celebration , Treat this as a high priority Article .

For MAINS this article will give you sufficient information on monitoring vehicle emissions in India .


The COVID-19 pandemic had deeply impacted public transport in India that was already in distress.



  • The very first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies will be held on September 7th, 2020.

The first celebration will set a precedent for an important and exciting new international day for clean air to be celebrated annually. 


  1. RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS : Individual, community, corporate and government levels—that clean air is important for health, productivity, the economy and the environment.
  2. FASTENING SDG’s : Demonstrate the close link of air quality to other environmental challenges such as – most and foremost – climate change and the global Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. BEST PRACTISES : Promote and facilitate solutions that improve air quality by sharing actionable knowledge best practices, innovations, and success stories.
  4. DRIVING MOMENTUM : Bring together diverse international actors working on this topic to form a strategic alliance to gain momentum for responsible stakeholders.

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies


  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution to hold an International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on December 19, 2019, during its 74th session.

UNGA also invited the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to facilitate the observance of the International Day.

  • The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) worked with UNEP and the Republic of Korea to advocate for the day in the lead up to the decision.
  • WHO is working with BreatheLife partners to coordinate activities for the day.


  • UN Member States recognize the need to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination by 2030.
  • This will have per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management by 2030.

Clean air is important for the health and day-to-day lives of people.

  • Air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally.
  • Air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and older persons, and also has a negative impact on ecosystems.
  • CSE called for build ambition for zero emission targets by promoting electric vehicles.


CSE called for a ‘green’ recovery strategy to help maintain and even exceed the level of ambition under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) 

  • About 20-30 per cent reduction in particulate pollution in non-attainment cities by 2024.


Tightening fuel efficiency standards to require electric vehicle transition.

  • Linking scrappage policy with electric vehicle transition .
  • The need for state governments to set milestones to implement electric vehicle policy.


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected public transport.
  • A revival plan is needed to reduce transport sector emissions.

All clean air action plans have included bus transport strategy to cut transport sector emissions

  • But the public transport systems have nearly collapsed in cities.- CSE
  • At least 81 per cent of state bus operators have reported no ridership at all during the lockdown phases.
  • The pandemic is cutting down the existing capacity by more than half.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  • In the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, entitled “The future we want,” countries committed to promoting sustainable development policies .

The document supports healthy air quality in the context of sustainable cities and human settlements.

  • Also, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which outlines a road map to achieving sustainable development, environmental protection and prosperity for all.
  • It recognizes that air pollution abatement is important to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
     SOURCES:DownToEarth | WHO | UNEP


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