Air pollution is a problem faced by all countries in the world. Smoke from motor vehicles and factories, as well as forest fires, is the cause of air pollution. At this moment, the situation has become something alarming. In fact, World Health Organization -WHO calls air pollution the silent killer. Various studies show that air pollution can cause serious health problems ranging from damage to cells in the body, stroke, brain cancer, miscarriage, to mental health problems.
How serious the impact of air pollution is that the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the resolution of International Clean Air Day for blue skies on 19 December 2019. Then, BreatheLife was launched, a joint campaign led by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Environment and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to mobilize cities and individuals to protect health and the planet from the effects of air pollution. The commemoration of the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies is observed for the first time today on 7 September 2020.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries in the world carried out lockdowns by implementing stay-at-home policies. This condition causes the air quality in several cities in the world to be better. Air pollution has decreased and the environment has become cleaner than before. However nowadays, when several countries have begun to open up and allow their people to carry out various activities outdoors, air quality has decreased and air pollution has increased again, even in some places more than before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Director General of the World Health Organization, António Guterres, in his message on the occasion of International Clean Air Day, said that dramatic and systemic changes are needed by strengthening environmental standards, policies and laws to prevent increased air pollution. He also advised countries of the world to end subsidies for fossil fuels.
Indonesia, which is one of the countries with a high level of pollution, has made efforts to reduce air pollution, especially from motor vehicles. One of them is by developing electric powered cars. Indonesia is considered to have the availability of natural resources that can be utilized to create independence in the development of electric vehicle batteries.
Given the importance of using environmentally friendly energy for vehicles, it is time for the community to gradually switch to reducing the use of fossil fuels, using electricity, also new and renewable energy.
Efforts to create clean air free of pollution can be done not only by the government but also the people by reducing the use of motor vehicles and switching to public transportation. Besides, there must be planting more trees, quitting smoking and not burning trash. Hopefully, the efforts made, both by the government and people, can reduce air pollution and can create clean air for the blue skies.