Indians demand clean air

Results from a new survey supported by Clean Air Fund indicate that people in India broadly support measures for clean air. The survey was conducted in five countries- India, Nigeria, Bulgaria, Poland and Great Britain and the results have been published in a new briefing called Breathing Space. The briefing highlights the close connections between COVID-19 and air pollution, and calls for governments to tackle them together in recovery plans.

In India, 1008 people were surveyed between May 22-28, 2020. Across India:

  • The vast majority of Indians think air pollution directly affects their general health
  • Air pollution is the number one public health concern for Indians alongside infectious disease
  • The majority of Indians think living in an area of high air pollution will make it more likely an individual will be catch COVID-19, be severely ill and make it harder to recover
  • The majority of Indians have noticed an improvement in air quality since lockdown
  • The majority of Indians think air quality in their local area should be improved
  • There is overwhelming support for policy measures to support clean air

The survey found that 86% of the people are worried about air pollution as a public health issue, and 87% noted that they’ve personally noticed cleaner air since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

There is clear public demand for governments around the world to act on clean air – and no excuse not to. As lockdowns are eased and economies restarted, people are clear that they do not want a return to toxic air. That would simply replace one health crisis with another.

Jane Burston, Executive Director, Clean Air Fund

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