Addressing the Implementation Gap

Capacity, incentives and integrated policies
Addressing pollution requires a mix of cross-sectoral policies, to support assessment of health risks and impact, fiscal reforms and prevention.

  • Pollution toolbox
  • Capacity building and institutional stregthening
  • Policy mix to build incentives, correct market failures by aligning price signals and fiscal policies
  • National action plans
  • Legal and regulatory approaches
  • Financing


A pollution solutions policy toolbox
Policies and decisions that take into account both the environment and health aspects of pollution have proven to be highly effective. In addition to developing integrated environment and health risk and impact assessments, UNEP works with country government to disseminate existing methodologies and tools, and develop new ones.

Stimulate good practices through fiscal policy
Fiscal policy—as expressed through revenue-generating measures such as taxes and charges, or government expenditures—can provide cost-effective incentives to curb polluting activities and the use of polluting products. At the same time, by removing existing price distortions that generate perverse incentives, such as environmentally harmful subsidies, fiscal policy reforms could reduce pollution and the associated health impacts.

To support countries in developing effective fiscal policies, ongoing UNEP initiatives look at collecting and disseminating good practices on the effective use of fiscal instruments for pollution reduction, and evaluating the performance of fiscal policy instruments

Integrated cross-sectoral capacity-building on pollution, environment and health
Collaboration between the environment and health communities and other sectors can often be challenging. At the same time, preventive action on pollution could save lives, reduce the burden on the health system and health costs and enhance worker productivity. Countries also frequently struggle to identify pollution priorities, according to a World Bank report.

To address this issue, UNEP, in partnership with other United Nations entities, has developed a capacity-building programme on prioritizing pollution concerns and developing policy and regulatory options for building infrastructure that prevents or reduces environmental degradation. Another goal of the programme is to build a network of partners that can provide policy and technical assistance to implement local solutions that demonstrate the highest economic, environment, climate and health co-benefits.