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02 November 2018

1st WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health: improving air quality, combatting climate change – saving lives - 30 October - 1 November 2018

From left to right: Kristel Malgherini, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs; Dr Hervé Raps, Doctor Delegate, Medical Biology Division, Monaco Scientific Centre; Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Health and Social Affairs; Laure Chevallier, Administrator, Department of the Environment; Carole Lanteri, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Monaco to the World Health Organization; Maxime Trapani, Permanent Representation in Geneva. Photo credit @C.Black@WHO

A Monegasque delegation led by Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Health and Social Affairs, accompanied by H.E. Ms Carole Lanteri, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Monaco to the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Department of the Environment took part in the 1st WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, which was held in Geneva from 30 October to 1 November 2018.

At the conference, the Minister began by reading a message from H.S.H. Prince Albert II. The Sovereign announced that the Principality had joined the BreatheLife campaign, jointly led by WHO, UN Environment and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to encourage cities and individuals to act to protect our health and the planet from the impact of air pollution. The Department of the Environment will ensure implementation of the campaign in Monaco.

Didier Gamerdinger also presented the commitments made by the Principality as part of this global effort, commitments which will help to monitor and improve air quality, including through the use of new technology and innovation. The result will be a reduction in the negative impacts of air pollution on health.

The Prince’s Government has been pursuing a strategy consistent with these goals for several years now. The following commitments, presented during the conference, are worth highlighting:

-              a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050

-              government funding to promote soft mobility

-              a reduction in the amount of waste incinerated

-              the establishment of an air quality monitoring network to ensure compliance with European limits and achieve WHO limits by 2030                   

-              a new hospital which meets high energy performance standards and will operate without damaging the environment   

The conference was an opportunity for the Minister of Health to reiterate that “we must collectively accept responsibility for maintaining and improving health and sustainable human development for the sake of our young people and future generations. This is what the Principality has committed to working towards, and we invite everyone to join us.”

With these words Monaco, already engaged in taking environmental initiatives, confirmed its commitments on health at WHO.

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