Some have celebrated a recent reduction in air pollution in major cities related to COVID-19, as people stay home and traffic volumes decline. But a pandemic is not the solution we need to reduce air pollution — neither temporarily nor permanently. Today, on Clean Air Day, it’s important to consider how to permanently improve air quality and improve our health with smart solutions that will outlast the current pandemic, and protect those most vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution. The evidence we’ve released today in our Clearing the Air report shows that cleaner vehicles can be a pathway to cleaner air, improved public health, and reduced climate change impacts. This research is the result of a unique collaboration between the University of Toronto’s Transportation and Air Quality Research Group, the Ontario Public Health Association, and Environmental Defence. In the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area (GTHA) alone, our modelling found that shifting to electric vehicles and cleaner, newer trucks could save hundreds of lives every year, cut about one sixth of the GTHA’s greenhouse gas emissions, and lead to billions of dollars in social benefits. Air pollution and climate change may appear on the surface to be separate issues. This […]

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