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Air Pollution and COVID-19, Enrico Botta

During this webinar, Professor Bert B. Brunekreef presented a recent report to the EU Parliament entitled ‘Air pollution and Covid-19’. Air pollution is a major contributor to death and disease worldwide, on a par with active smoking and unhealthy diets. Air pollution is known to increase the risk of infections by damaging epithelial barriers and decreasing immune responses. It seems likely that air pollution may also contribute to the incidence, severity and case-fatality of COVID-19. The spread of COVID-19 has been so dynamic, however, that it has been very difficult so far to establish clear quantitative links. Air pollution may also influence social inequalities through increased exposure in poor neighbourhoods and increased health damage in populations in poor health, poor nutritional status etc. Such relations are not straightforward, though, and may be seen in unexpected directions (rich folks living in gentrified but still more polluted inner cities, poor folks living in relatively clean depressed rural areas, etc.). The presentation focused on air pollution and health in general, and on COVID-19 in particular, in the context of environmental justice.
This webinar was organised by the OECD as part of a series of webinars that aim to explore the evidence base and carve a comprehensive overview of the COVID-inequality nexus in a number of areas including: income, spatial inequality, ethnicity and migration, labour, gender, child and education, mental health, environment and more.

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Air Pollution and COVID-19, Enrico Botta

  1. 1. Webinar Series on COVID-19 and Inequality: Air pollution and COVID-19
  2. 2. OECD wellbeing framework
  3. 3. Environmental policies and wellbeing
  4. 4. Vulnerability OECD Well-being Framework • Health • Income & wealth • Work & Job Quality • Safety How environmental policies and degradation affect wellbeing of different households?
  5. 5. The geographical dimension of the low-carbon transition: examples Source: Alves Dias et al. (2018[173]). EU coal regions opportunities and challenges ahead, https://doi.org/10.2760/064809 Potential job losses in coal mines in EU Urban and rural areas
  6. 6. Funding allocated to recovery measures by environmental impact Note: NGEU-30 refers to 30% of the European Commission’s Next Generation EU funds, i.e. the minimum proportion that is ear-marked for climate-related investments. The amount is shown separately to other environmentally positive measures because funds have not yet been allocated to member states Source: OECD green recovery database
  7. 7. Enrico Botta Enrico.Botta@oecd.org Thank you