In Greenbiz, Davida Herzl, founder of Aclima — one of our impact investments, argues that “clean air is essential to a healthy, equitable and prosperous future.” She writes:

We have come face-to-face with the painful truth: that we destroy our own health through the same means by which we destroy our environment. Pollution isn’t just changing the climate, it’s also making us more vulnerable to infection, illness and premature death — all of which undermine our economy’s basic ability to function. 

Research is showing that, in addition to the known negative effects on pulmonary health, long-term exposure to even slightly elevated levels of particulate matter make people more likely to die from COVID-19. Emerging research is investigating the potential for air pollution to act as a physical carrier for the coronavirus. At the same time, while social distancing has flattened the infection curve, it also has decreased emissions from traffic and other sources, reducing air pollution around the world…

Air pollution levels depend on many factors, including emissions source, geography and meteorological conditions. Beyond measuring overall reductions, Aclima’s granular and multi-pollutant measurements can zero in on the impacts of mobile sources such as trucks, passenger vehicles, ships and airplanes as compared to stationary sources such as factories, power plants and waste facilities. 

These new data can inform and help prioritize policy changes and emission reductions efforts across government, businesses and communities. They make the case for accelerating and scaling existing efforts underway, including investing in vehicle and home electrification, expanding public transit, phasing out diesel, green and equitable urban planning, and renewable energy production.  

Read the entire op-ed. Go to our In Frame on Aclima.