Governments around the world gave 20% more in overseas aid funding to fossil fuel projects in 2019 and 2020 than to programmes to cut the air pollution they cause.
Dirty air is the world’s biggest environmental killer, responsible for at least 4m early deaths a year. But just 1% of global development aid is used to tackle this crisis, according to an analysis from the Clean Air Fund (CAF).
Air pollution kills more people than HIV/Aids, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, but such health issues receive vastly more funding, the report found. When compared in terms of years of life lost, HIV/Aids projects received 34 times more funding, while malnutrition programmes received seven times more. Increasing funding to similar levels to tackle air pollution would save many lives, experts said.
Funding for air quality projects is also heavily skewed towards middle-income Asian countries, with African and Latin American nations receiving just…