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Monday 2 December 2019

Pollution Pods at COP25 UN Climate Change Conference

Written by Damian Santamaria

Pollution Pods at COP25 UN Climate Change Conference

Visitors to be immersed in choking smog as part of a drive to urge world leaders to take action on air pollution at COP25, Madrid
2-13 December, 2019

One or two minutes inside artist Michael Pinsky’s Pollution Pods and visitors might begin experiencing shortness of breath, but there’s nothing dangerous in the air in the pods. Safe perfume blends and fog machines imitate the air quality of some of the world’s most polluted cities – London, Beijing, São Paulo, New Delhi – as well as one of the most pristine environments on earth, Tautra in Norway.

As part of World Health Organisation's BreatheLife Campaign, which mobilizes governments and communities to reduce the impact of air pollution on our health and climate, this viscerally powerful art installation will be installed at the COP25 climate summit.

Negotiators, observers and world leaders attending the summit will be encouraged to walk through the pods, which are being brought to Madrid by Cape Farewell, WHO, Clean Air Fund and Ministry of Ecological Transition, Spain.

Dr Maria Neira and Greta Thunberg  © Ben Hartschuh / WHO
The true cost of climate change is felt in our hospitals and in our lungs. The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high, that moving to cleaner and more sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “When health is taken into account, climate change mitigation is an opportunity, not a cost”.

Find out more

Top picture: Greta Thunberg with artist Michael Pinsky and Dr Maria Neira inside the Pollution Pods at the UN Climate Summit, September 2019 © David Buckland / Cape Farewell

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