Solutions / City-Wide Solutions


There are many solutions available to reduce air pollution quickly and at scale. See which solution areas are right for your city, country or region.

“Cities can reduce both air pollution and short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon and ozone through a range of measures that benefit health very immediately and climate in the near term.”

Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, WHO

Solutions for Transport

01 - Solutions for Transport Strong public transit systems are the backbone for making our cities “trim”, energy efficient and more livable. Cities built primarily around car travel quickly become sprawling and “obese” -- gobbling up land in highways and parking lots, generating more pollution, and fostering unhealthy lifestyles. Pedestrian- and cycle-friendly cities with separated networks for walking biking and mass transit make commuting safer, easier, healthier, and less expensive.
  • Walking & cycling paths

    Walking and cycling networks make trips by foot or bicycle safer and more accessible, preventing pollution from vehicles, traffic injuries, and promoting better health through physical activity.

  • Efficient mass transit

    Shifting people to more efficient forms of transport, including bus rapid transit, light rail and other forms of shared transportation dramatically reduces air pollution by cutting down on private vehicle use and emissions.

  • Emission standards

    Raising emissions standards for all vehicles takes heavy polluters off the road and drives market pressures for cleaner vehicles, as well as innovation for cleaner technologies. Reducing high-sulfur fuels in many emerging economies is an important first step.

  • Soot-free vehicles

    “Soot-free” vehicles reduce tailpipe particulate/black carbon emissions by 85% or more, as compared to uncontrolled diesel exhaust. Soot-free vehicles are typically vehicles certified to Euro VI or US 2010 emission levels, including electric drive or hybrid engines, compressed natural gas (CNG), biogas/other biofuels, or diesel engines with a functioning diesel particle filter.

The Inflation Reduction Act

Reading Time: 3 minutes On 16 August, United States President Joseph Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act – the country’s most significant climate legislation to date – into law. The Act provides many benefits for individual citizens, and invests hundreds of billions of dollars in federal climate action, including funding methane detection and measurement, and new policy instruments, including […]

Analyzing health in the transit sector

Reading Time: 4 minutes Transportation contributes significantly to urban air pollution. It also has the potential to be a key driver for improving air quality. Analysis of your region’s transportation options provides insights for planners on how and where to intervene to improve air quality in transportation. New tools are available to asses health impacts in the transportation sector. […]

Active transportation planning

Reading Time: 3 minutes Health Impacts of Active Transportation Active transportation improves health outcomes. Active transportation both reduces air pollution in cities and provides health co-benefits to individuals. Walking and cycling can integrate physical activity into daily life reducing chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Active transportation has positive environmental effects, especially if cycling and walking replace […]

The road to health

Reading Time: 6 minutes The multiple health benefits of public transport Robust, effective public transit systems positively contribute to clean air goals in cities. Public transport is an investment in public health. Investing in public transit supports clean air goals by shifting transport load off of single-occupancy cars and into multimodal transit options. Car use and traffic congestion are […]

Online event: Global e-Mobility Forum 2020

Reading Time: 1 minute We are pleased to invite you to participate in the Global e-Mobility Forum 2020, whose goal is to discuss the instruments supporting the implementation of the European Green Deal objectives. The Event is a continuation both of the last year’s Forum – held at the National Stadium in Warsaw – and the Driving Change Together – Katowice Partnership for the e-Mobility initiative, shaped during […]


Solutions for Waste Management

02 - Solutions for Waste Management Landfills account for 11% of the world’s methane emissions, and municipal waste is expected to nearly double by 2025. Furthermore, an estimated 90% of wastewater in developing countries is discharged untreated or partially treated. Better waste management programs are integral to ensuring our communities don’t suffer as a result, both on a local and global level.
  • Landfill gas recovery

    Landfill gas recovery is an innovative, renewable energy option that actually harnesses harmful landfill emissions rather than allowing them to enter the atmosphere or our lungs.

  • Improved wastewater treatment

    Improving wastewater treatment and sanitation provisions, both in the home and in industry, can make an enormous difference in reducing infectious disease risks.


Household air & pollution

03 - Solutions for Household air & pollution Nearly 60% of deaths from household air pollution are among women and children who spend hours around sooty cookstoves burning wood, coal and kerosene. Shifting to cleaner stoves can have a domino effect of benefits – reducing black carbon emissions as well as the time spent by women and girls in gathering fuel.
  • Low-emission stoves and fuels

    Cleaner-burning biomass stoves and other low-emission fuels or stove types improve air quality in the home and the community, and lower risk of burns or other injuries.

  • Improved lighting

    Electric lighting, including PV solar rooftop panels, reduces reliance on kerosene lamps that emit heavy concentrations of harmful black carbon and other air pollutants.

  • Passive building design principles

    Reducing the need for extra heating or cooling by designing homes that take advantage of the sun’s natural warming and fresh air ventilation for cooling can help minimize a home’s air pollution and carbon footprint.


Solutions for Energy supply

04 - Solutions for Energy supply Oil and gas produce 25% of the world’s methane emissions. Flaring, the burning of uncaptured gas during production, emits harmful black carbon. Better control of fugitive emissions and capturing flared gas as fuel helps limit emissions from current oil and gas production in the short-term, while the shift to renewable energy sources can ensure a cleaner, healthier future in the long-term.
  • Renewable power supply

    Renewables directly improve air quality while slowing climate change. For example, rooftop PV solar systems in off-grid rural areas or fast-growing cities with unreliable energy supply is a clean, and cost-effective alternative to heavily polluting portable diesel generators.

  • Diesel replacement

    The fine particles and black carbon emitted by diesel vehicles and engines can be virtually eliminated through technologies that are already present on half of new heavy-duty vehicles sold today.

The Inflation Reduction Act

Reading Time: 3 minutes On 16 August, United States President Joseph Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act – the country’s most significant climate legislation to date – into law. The Act provides many benefits for individual citizens, and invests hundreds of billions of dollars in federal climate action, including funding methane detection and measurement, and new policy instruments, including […]


Solutions for Industry

05 - Solutions for Industry With more people living in cities, brick production and other heavy industry continue to contribute to air pollution. New technologies and practices are increasingly being introduced so that even as our cities grow, air pollution doesn’t grow with it.
  • Improved brick kilns

    Kilns used for firing bricks are heavy polluters of black carbon and put workers at increased risk for respiratory illness, but new kilns are being used that can cut emissions by up to half.

  • Improved coke ovens

    Coke ovens used to produce some metals emit toxins that can increase cancer risk. However, emissions can be captured for power generation and help minimize what is entered into the atmosphere.

  • Fugitive emission control

    Fugitive emissions occur from leaks or the burning off of excess gas through flaring. Ongoing maintenance and new monitoring and detection technology can limit unnecessary emission from industry.

Reducing air pollution from the brick-making industry

Reading Time: 3 minutes Brick kilns are a leading cause of industry-caused air pollution. They are comprised of a range of designs that heat green clay bricks and fire them into the finished bricks used for building construction. Depending on the type of kiln, the output from them can produce a substantial amount of air pollution. Air pollution from […]


Solutions for Food & Agriculture

06 - Solutions for Agriculture The agricultural revolution of the past 50 years has dramatically increased food supplies. At the same time, livestock production has become a major driver of climate change due to its heavy water, feed and energy requirements, and a major source of methane emissions from ruminant animals like cattle. Rice production in continuously flooded fields is also a major source of methane, which is has immediate climate warming impacts far more powerful than longer-lived CO2.
  • Alternate "wet-dry" irrigation

    Intermittently drying out rice paddies, which traditionally were flooded year-round, can significantly cut methane emissions, while also reducing breeding grounds for disease-bearing mosquitoes and other vectors.

  • Improved manure management

    Waste “digestors” extract methane from livestock waste and sewage converting emissions into a clean energy source. Manure can also be used as fertilizer to improve crop production, moderate methane release and prevent the spread of disease.

  • Reduced open burning

    Waste management programmes to prevent open burning from crop waste and domestic and municipal waste such as paper and plastics, avoids dangerous pollutants from being released into the air, including black carbon.

  • Healthier food production

    Policies that promote diets rich in plant-based foods, particularly among middle- and high-income populations with plentiful food choices, can lower healthcare costs while reducing methane emissions from livestock production.

  • Reduced food waste

    Separating and composting biodegradable food waste reduces methane emissions from landfills, and can also be used as a source of fertilizer for local agriculture.

Soil Health

Reading Time: 4 minutes Soils are a component of the ecosystem services that support air quality. They underpin the green space interventions that improve air quality. Supporting healthy soils is a building block in both rural and urban communities in creating healthy air systems. While soils are not a major sink for air pollution, maintaining healthy soils is still […]

Better yields and environmental consciousness

Reading Time: 5 minutes Two years ago, Manolo Rojas was prepping his fields to plant green peas on his farm in Huayao in central Peru the way he always did, by burning the debris from the previous crop and tilling the soil. When a technician from humanitarian organization CARE International approached him to say that he’d have better results […]