5-speed listening (Air Quality - Level 3)

WHO says 99% of people breathe unhealthy air



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The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a shocking finding about the air we breathe. It has found that almost everyone on Earth breathes unhealthy air. The WHO made its air quality update ahead of World Health Day on April 7. The update reported that 99 per cent of the world's population breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits. It looked at data from over 6,000 cities in 117 countries. People living in lower- and middle-income countries breathe the poorest-quality air. Millions of people die in these countries because of pollution-related diseases. The WHO said: "After surviving a pandemic, it is unacceptable to still have 7 million preventable deaths...due to air pollution."

The WHO said its report highlighted the need to move away from fossil fuels. It asked governments to do more to reduce levels of air pollution. It said: "Current energy concerns highlight the importance of speeding up the transition to cleaner and healthier energy systems." It added that high gas prices, energy security, the dangers of air pollution, and climate change mean the world must be less dependent on fossil fuels. The WHO report included many recommendations for change. Among these were, "the exclusive use of clean household energy for cooking, heating and lighting," and to "build safe and affordable public transport systems and pedestrian- and cycle-friendly networks".

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