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Addressing air quality crucial for Dhaka’s sustainability: Haas

Addressing Dhaka's air quality issues is not only a matter of public health but also a crucial step in ensuring the city's long-term sustainability and livability, said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas today.

The air quality here is often among the worst in the world, he said at the closing ceremony of a discussion titled "Climate Action Champions" at a hotel in the city today.

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The US embassy in Dhaka, in collaboration with GenLab, a youth-led social enterprise, hosted youth climate activists to discuss collaboration opportunities to tackle air quality.

The 50 youth climate champions from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka attended the event on September 26-28.

Dhaka has been grappling with severe air quality issues for a significant period of time, Haas said. "Now more than ever, cities like Dhaka need local, regional, and international solutions to air pollution."

He said the US government is strongly committed to addressing climate change through a range of ambitious initiatives and policies that align with and support global efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change and transition to a more sustainable and resilient future.

"The United States' proactive approach to climate risk modeling and preparedness is an essential component of efforts to address the challenges posed by climate change."

The US engages experts and stakeholders in discussions of climate change impacts, which include more frequent and severe weather events, rising temperatures, sea level increase, and changing precipitation patterns.

The Biden-Harris administration has unveiled a comprehensive set of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the climate crisis that included rejoining the Paris Agreement, clean energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, environmental justice, regulatory actions, climate diplomacy, carbon pricing, and financial incentives, he added

"We support young climate champions making a significant and positive difference in the fight against climate change."

However, no country can solve the climate crisis alone and so everyone must do their part.

"I commend all the climate champions for your unwavering dedication to implementing community projects in your respective countries."

By taking action at the grassroots level and working across borders, youths are showing their community how all need each other for shared prosperity, Peter Haas said

"Your passion, dedication, and innovative thinking are invaluable assets in tackling one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

"Together, we can build a more sustainable and equitable world for all."