A much-needed step in curbing air pollution
According to the World Bank, air pollution is killing around 80,000 people every year in Bangladesh, and is wiping out around 4 percent of the country's GDP. What's stopping us from taking meaningful action to prevent this? This, certainly, cannot continue. We must remove the biggest sources of pollution inside the country quickly. Working with our regional partners to stop transboundary pollution is also a priority. We urge the authorities to take the regional roadmap seriously and take steps to maximise its impact as soon as possible. We appreciate the initiative taken by four South Asian countries – Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan – to bring down their annual average of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 to 35 microgrammes per cubic metre by 2030, following a suggestion by the World Health Organization to reduce air pollution. At a time when Bangladesh is seriously struggling to contain air pollution in its major cities, particularly the capital, such a collaborative approach seems to be a step in the right direction. According to the roadmap forged by the four countries, there will be both national and regional steps aimed at improving the quality of air.