The right to breath clean air (2017). Clean air is fundamental to healthy human life. Yet the vast majority of the world’s population lives in places where they are exposed to poor air quality, with estimated 6.5 million deaths associated with exposure to air pollution in 2012 alone. This has the potential to get significantly worse, as population growth, economic growth and urbanization cram ever more people into increasingly polluted cities. Even in relatively wealthy Europe, air pollution continues to take a heavy toll on health, causing around 400,000 early deaths annually. With air quality failing to meet legal standards in the majority of European Union countries, people and environmental organizations are increasingly going to court to demand action.
United Nations Human Rights Office. Air Pollution and Human Rights (no date). There is now global agreement that human rights norms apply to environmental issues The previous Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Mr. John Knox, developed Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment that set forth three sets of duties that engage both State