Pollution is the world’s biggest killer and governments and businesses must do more to reduce it, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Erik Solheim, has said.
“Thirteen million people die from pollution; that makes pollution the biggest killer on the planet and we need to reduce it,’’ Solheim said on Monday at the start of the third UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
“Governments and the private sector have to work together and take responsibility for pollution,” he said.
The Nairobi assembly’s attendees must urgently get together to align their efforts and measures to reduce pollution “to actually have an impact in people’s realities,’’ said Edgar Gutiérrez, Costa Rica’s environment minister and president of the assembly.
Some eight million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the oceans each year, the UN says, while some 6.5 million people die as a result of breathing polluted air.
More than 100 environment ministers and three heads of state and government, as well as environmental activists, organisations, scientists and representatives of the private sectors were present at the three-day summit.