Key Messages

“Healthy Air, Healthy Planet” — the theme for this year’s International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies 2021 — is upfront in acknowledging the ubiquity of air-pollution effects, calling for collective efforts to improve our air for a better tomorrow.

Estimating the success/failure of air-pollution control initiatives is an important part of the efforts towards better air quality. Globally, multiple approaches are used for estimating air pollution costs, as also for measuring the benefits of air-pollution reduction. One of the approaches is the income-based approach, which considers the loss of expected output over the lifetime of an individual due to premature mortality or morbidity as a cost of air pollution. The other is the welfare approach, which monetises air pollution costs using the value of a statistical life (VSL) — a typical term used in economic analyses, which reflects the aggregation of individuals’ willingness to pay for a marginal reduction in their risk of death.

Comprehensive Air Pollution Impact Estimation Can Help Deal with the ‘Triple Planetary Crises’