The impact of air quality on public health in the UAE will be the subject of a new study announced on Tuesday by Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
The study, which will be conducted by the ministry in partnership with the Pure Health group, will focus on how air quality affects longevity and quality of life.
“By assessing the impact of air quality on health, we can make informed decisions that contribute to effective climate action, enhance community health and achieve comprehensive sustainability,” Ms Al Mheiri said.
“As we prepare to host Cop28 in November this year, and within the Year of Sustainability, the memorandum with Pure Health emphasises our focus on promoting a sustainable future for our country and the world by establishing more strategic partnerships.”
Ms Al Mheiri added that the study was in keeping with the country's efforts to “achieve the perfect balance between economic and social development, including the health of community members”.
She also stressed it would be a key driver in efforts to reach the country's targets as mapped out in the National Air Quality Agenda 2031 goals.
The aim of the agenda is to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.
Globally, the UAE is slightly below average for exposure to PM2.5, one of the key air pollution measurements.
Figures published by the World Bank, taken from the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study, showed the mean annual exposure to PM2.5 in the UAE is 41 microgrammes per cubic metre.
This is compared with the World Health Organisation's recommended maximum of 5 microgrammes per cubic metre.
The global average is 46.
“Through research and assessing the impact of air quality on public health, we can work towards building a healthier and more resilient future for the people of the UAE,” said Farhan Malik, managing director and chief executive of Pure Health.
The study was launched on the same day that researchers said reducing air pollution could be a critical step in tackling the rising threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and could save thousands of lives.
The findings were published in journal The Lancet Planetary Health.
The UAE is preparing to host the Cop28 climate change conference, which will be held in Dubai at the end of November.