The United Nations Environment Programme has launched ‘Towards a pollution-free planet’, a call to action for governments, business, local authorities, civil society and individuals to prevent and reduce pollution and clean up the planet helping to move the world to a healthier and more sustainable way of living.

The report conveys five overarching messages:

  • A global compact on pollution would make pollution prevention a priority for all.
  • Environmental governance needs to be strengthened at all levels.
  • Sustainable consumption and production, through improved resource efficiency and lifestyle changes, should be promoted; waste reduction and management must be prioritized.
  • Investment in cleaner production and consumption will help to counter pollution.
  • Multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaborations are vital for the innovation, knowledge-sharing and transdisciplinary research needed to develop technological and ecosystems- based solutions.

While pollution is not a new phenomenon, it is largely controllable and often avoidable, but considerably neglected. Better knowledge, alternative consumption and production models, as well as innovative technological solutions now mean that many countries, cities, and businesses are successfully tackling serious pollution issues.

Though some forms of pollution have been reduced as technologies and management strategies have advanced, approximately 19 million premature deaths are estimated to occur annually as a result of the way societies use natural resources and impact the environment to support production and consumption. If consumption and production patterns continue as they are, the linear economic model of “take-make-dispose” will seriously burden an already polluted planet, affecting current and future generations.

Download this report, a call to action towards a pollution free planet.