Kerry UiB HLPF24
Representing IAU, Principal investigator Kerry Ryan Chance of the Habitable Air project spoke at the 2024 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations in New York on the urgent issue of air pollution and how this impacts on climate change and public health.

On 8 July, the opening day of the 2024 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) for Sustainable Development at the United Nations, Associate Professor Kerry Ryan Chance from the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen and principal investigator of the Habitable Air research project spoke in the second plenary session, representing both EASG and the IAU. 

This is a full transcript of her speech during the session “Science, technology and innovation: Triggering transformation and sustaining science-driven solutions”:

Thank you, Chairperson.

I represent the Education & Academia Stakeholder Group, the International Association of Universities, the University of Bergen in Norway, and The Habitable Air Project. Air pollution multiplies crises: it negatively impacts public health, heightening cancer and asthma rates among the most vulnerable, and it contributes to global warming. Our multi-country air monitoring study found: (1) a lack of publicly available information about exposure to air pollution, such as SO2, in poor communities; and (2) that regulatory guidelines do not address local or cross-border air pollution effectively. These findings underscore the urgency of SDG#1 – No Poverty, and SDG#13 – Climate Action.

There is a need for governments to work across borders, and together with grassroots communities, to provide more support for those who bear the brunt of air pollution and climate change, and for whom energy transition is a lifeline. There is also a need to measure and make public air pollution’s impacts, to advance research that starts with local knowledges, and for higher education to stand as a strong partner in catalysing this cooperation between sectors (policymakers, industry, academia, and communities).

The Habitable Air Project and its partners, in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, aims to put the unequal distribution of air pollution globally on the agenda for climate change policy at the HLPF and beyond.

Thank you.

You can watch the speech in this recording from the UN web TV. Kerry Ryan Chance speaks at 3h12min.

Learn more about the University of Bergen's engagement at the joint side event with IAU at the HLPF 2024 here.

Latest update: 10.07.2024