The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution to hold an International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on December 19, 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 organisations. The resolution stressed the importance of an urgent need to raise public awareness at all levels and to promote and facilitate actions to improve air quality.
The first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies was observed on September 7, 2020. Given the current backdrop with the wide-scale transmission of COVID-19, the day assumes an even more important role in propagating the urgent need to address air pollution and the challenges it poses while adding emphasis on moving toward sustainability at an individual, national as well as global level.
The 2021 theme for the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” which emphasises the health aspects of air pollution, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s focus is on prioritising the need for healthy air for all, while keeping the conversation broad enough to encompass other critical issues such as climate change, human and planetary health as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. The day serves as a rallying call to action to align our efforts and claim our right to clean air.