air pollution Current Affairs - 2020

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WHO releases Global Health Challenges for 2020

Every year, the World Health Organization releases list of Global Health Challenges of the forth coming year. This year, on January 13, 2020, the organization had released the top global health challenges for the year.

Global Health Challenges

The list included 13 potential threats. The foremost threat was Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and climate crisis. The 2 threats have been on the top for the previous year, 2019 as well. The report says around 7 million people are affected because of climate change. Climate change has increased malnutrition and is fueling the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria. The other threats that have topped the list includes influenza epidemic and spread of infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

More than one-quarter of death is due to stroke, heart attack, chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer. The chances of these diseases are increased by raising levels of air pollution.

A new entrant to the list of top 13 potential threats is Lack of Access. The report says that around a third of world population lack access to vaccines, diagnostic tools, medicines and other essential health products.

Shortage of health care workers is also the major global concern. WHO says that another 18 million health workers are required by 2030.

Above of all unhealthy food diets is also major threat. Lack of food, unhealthy diets and unsafe food are responsible for one-third of global disease burden.

Other Threats

The threats are not only diseases-related. It also includes other threats such as social media, infrastructure, human resources and new technologies. The misinformation about diseases in social media is a major threat as it is spread false fears among people. Also, delivering health care in conflict ridden areas is also the biggest challenge according to WHO.

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Delhi cabinet approves new policy on pollution

On December 24, 2019, CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal introduced a new policy to make Delhi the capital of Electric vehicles. Under the policy, the government has planned to provide subsidies to electric vehicles.

Highlights

The goal of the policy is to ensure that 25% of new vehicles registered are electric by 2024. Along with electric vehicles, the government also has planned to construct 250 charging stations. It also includes 20% of the parking enabled for electric vehicles. The policy has been drafted after feedback from UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) experts, International Transport Council. The draft of the policy was already made public in November 2018.

The policy is important as the vehicles have been major cause of pollution emitting 80% of carbon monoxide, 40% of PM 2.5 and 80% of nitrogen oxides.

Why Electric Vehicles as a solution?

Electric Vehicles are constantly being promoted all over the world as they do not emit pollution. Also, the central government has reduced GST rates for electric vehicles. These vehicles will help India achieve the target of reducing green house gas emissions by 33% by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.

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