SEI joins global response to address clean air

News | Posted on Tuesday 8 September 2020

Webinars, policy brief, interactive guide and rock star support.

2020 is the inaugural year of the United Nations General Assembly's International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. The day, held on 7 September, was introduced to build on the “increasing interest of the international community in clean air, and to emphasize the need to make further efforts to improve air quality, including reducing air pollution, to protect human health”.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution to hold an International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on 19 December 2019, during its 74th session, and invited the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to facilitate the observance of the International Day, in collaboration with other relevant organizations.

SEI is contributed to the Day in many ways, including through its involvement with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

SEI Webinar

SEI held a webinar with a wide range of experts who explored holistic ways to tackle air pollution, health, COVID-19 recovery and climate change.  

The webinar was chaired by Dr Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, Air Pollution Research Leader, SEI.

Panellists for the event included:

  • Geraint Davies MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution, UK Parliament
  • Professor Sir Andy Haines, Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Helena Molin Valdés, Head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat
  • Dr Eleni Iacovidou, Lecturer in Environmental Management, Brunel University London
  • Dr Chris Malley, Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York
  • Dr Luis Gerardo Ruiz Suárez, General Coordinator of Pollution and Environmental Health, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC)
  • Dr Yewande Awe, Senior Environmental Engineer, World Bank
  • Dr Sarah West, Centre Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York

Watch the webinar

Policy Brief

Policy Brief for Clean Air Day
Air pollution and its impact on human health: an important driver for achieving the 1.5°C goal of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

This policy brief, written by SEI York's Chris Malley and Johan Kuylenstierna, describes how SEI’s Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) and Integrated Benefits Calculator can help countries plan coherent emission reduction strategies with health benefits.

Read the policy brief


This blog by Chris Malley suggests focusing on local air pollution benefits to help raise ambition for the global climate mitigation agenda in countries of all income and development levels.

Read the perspective



Article with the World Economic Forum


Pollution costs lives and is bad for business. Here are 5 ways companies can clean up the air.

Roderick Weller (WEF)
Eleni Michalopoulou (SEI)

Business and industry have a key role to play to reduce air pollution, since many of their activities cause emissions. They are both contributors and solution-providers; making them essential to lowering pollution, building innovation and showing governments that fixing air pollution and economic development are not mutually exclusive. This article presents 5 actions the private sector can take.

Read the article


Communicating air pollution issues

SEI researchers contributed to a comprehensive, but non-technical, online resource covering 20 of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about global air pollution issues. This has been specially produced for the UN International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.

Visit the FAQ on UN’s International Day of Clean Air for blue skies website

They also contributed to this interactive guide to air pollution with UNEP and CCAC.


Support from the music community

IDoCA - Floor Jansen
Floor Jansen
, singer in the metal band Nightwish supported International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. Floor sent a message of support for the day via twitter, and in particular the rights of children to have clean air to breathe. This was inspired by her band's song  "Every child is worth a better tale".

Watch her video message on YouTube 


Notes to editors:



Contact us
+44 (0)1904 322 2897
SEI, Third Floor Environment Building, Wentworth Way, University of York, York, UK YO10 5NG

Contact us
+44 (0)1904 322 2897
SEI, Third Floor Environment Building, Wentworth Way, University of York, York, UK YO10 5NG