Environmental Rights

Operations cause air pollution in concentrations that pose significant risks to human health and/or the ecosystem


Air pollution violates the rights to life and health, the rights of the child, and the right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Deaths attributable to outdoor air pollution amount to as much as 4.2 million of these deaths per year according to the WHO. The combined effects of outdoor and household air pollution (including that at the workplace in certain cases) cause about 7 million premature deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Article 25
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966
Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989
Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment, 2018 (A/HRC/37/59)



SDG 3.9

Efforts to combat air pollution contribute to SDG 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

SDG 11


SDG 11.6

Efforts to improve air quality in cities contribute to achieving SDG 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality, municipal and other waste management.