25 Clean Air Measures

92% of Asia and the Pacific’s population – about 4 billion people – are exposed to levels of air pollution that pose a significant risk to their health.

Air pollution in the Asia Pacific region is not only a major health risk, it also has damaging impacts on the environment and agricultural crop yields. These impacts have significant economic consequences, affecting economic growth as well as welfare.

While existing laws and policies have made progress in reducing air pollution in the region, further action is needed to bring air quality to safe levels.

A new report, Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based Solutions, presents the first-ever scientific assessment of air pollution across 23 countries in the region. Using world-leading scientific models, the report outlines 25 policy actions that could achieve safe air quality levels for 1 billion people by 2030 – with numerous benefits for public health, economic development and the climate. This was prepared in response to Resolution 1/7 of the First Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2014, which called for UN Environment to prepare regional reports on air quality issues.

It is the product of close collaboration between the Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership (APCAP) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). The assessment process was chaired by three Co-Chairs from the Asia and Pacific region: Professor Jiming Hao, Tsinghua University, China; Professor Yun-Chul Hong, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea; and Professor Frank Murray, Murdoch University, Australia, and was coordinated by APCAP, CCAC, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), UN Environment, Asia and the Pacific Office; and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).


Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based Solutions uses the highest quality data available and state-of-the-art modelling to identify the most effective 25 measures to reduce air pollution.

The analysis takes the region’s considerable diversity into account and groups the selected measures into three categories:

  • Conventional emission controls focusing on emissions that lead to the formation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
  • Further (next-stage) air-quality measures for reducing emissions that lead to the formation of PM2.5 and are not yet major components of clean air policies in many parts of the region. 
  • Measures contributing to development priority goals with benefits for air quality.