WHO, Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Government of Norway jointly launch the ‘BreatheLife’ campaign (19 October 2016)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has partnered with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Government of Norway to launch a campaign to raise awareness about the health risks of short-lived climate pollutants, which contribute significantly to global warming and air pollution.

Called ‘BreatheLife’, the campaign advocates action in the areas of knowledge sharing between cities, increasing monitoring, supporting solutions and educating people.

Background Information:

It has been estimated that a suite of actions to reduce pollutants could reduce the annual death toll from air pollution.

Some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution.

Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.

Urban air pollution levels also tend to be higher in many low and middle-income cities and in poor neighbourhoods of high-income cities. This means reductions in pollutants can have particularly large health benefits for lower income groups as well as for children, elderly, and women.

Key Messages:

Over 80% of all cities exceed WHO limits for safe air.

Only 1 in 10 people breathe safe air according to WHO guidelines.

Air pollution is the single greatest environmental health risk we face accounting for nearly 7 million deaths annually

BreatheLife is a global campaign led by the WHO in collaboration with the CCAC to mobilize cities and individuals to protect our health and our planet from the effects of air pollution.

The campaign aims to reduce the annual number of deaths caused by air pollution in half by 2030.

It stresses both the practical policy measures that cities can implement (such as better housing, transport, waste, and energy systems) and measures people can take as communities or individuals (for example, to stop waste burning, promote green spaces and walking/cycling) to improve our air.

Improving vehicle standards, prioritizing clean public and active transit, as well as adopting more efficient stove and fuel alternatives for cooking, lighting and heating are among the actions that can save lives and help save the planet.



Useful Links:

Link to the WHO news release:


Link to the BreatheLife campaign web site:


Link to ‘Who it affects’ page:


Link to ‘Air quality in your city’ page (one can check air quality in one’s city):


Link to campaign’s Youtube video:

Link to the Social Media toolkit:

Click to access BreatheLifeCampaign-SocialMediaToolkit.pdf

Link to Resources for cities & organizations, individuals and health professionals:


Link to ‘Citywide solutions’ page:


Link to ‘Actions for individuals’ page:


Link to ‘Health sector leadership’ page:


Link to ‘Health and Climate impacts’ page:


Link to infographics (English) [PDF]:

Click to access infographics-EN.pdf

Link to infographics (French) [PDF]:

Click to access infographics-FR.pdf

Link to infographics (Spanish) [PDF]:

Click to access infographics_SP.pdf

Link to BreatheLife infographic (English) [jpg]

Link to infographic ‘swing’ (English) [jpg]

Link to BreatheLife announcement 1 (English) [jpg]

Link to BreatheLife announcement 2 (English) [jpg]

Link to WHO report ‘Health as the pulse of the New Urban Agenda’ (English) [PDF]:



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