“The Challenges of Air Quality in Brazil” is the name of the series of webinars that WRI Brasil is holding to encourage the public debate with respect to fundamental questions for the national economy and the health of the population within the context of the post-pandemic green recovery.
The series started on October 1, with Izabella Teixeira, ex-minister of the environment, Adalberto Maluf, director of marketing, sustainability and new business at BYD and Roberto Shaeffer, professor of economics of energy at Coppe/UFRJ, discussing the green economy and the renovation of the automotive sector. The event raised the following question: “will the Brazilian automotive industry, which accounts for 1.3 million direct and indirect jobs and makes the country the 6th largest producer of vehicles in the world, be able to reduce conflicts with the current environmental and economic demands and incorporate the green economy?”.
On October 7, the subject of the second webinar emerged from an extremely urgent issue in Brazil: Fires, a collective problem. To discuss the evident loss of biomes, how the air pollution caused by local fires affects the climate as a whole, water and agriculture, and also increases social costs, involved Ane Alencar, director of science at IPAM Amazônia, Carlos Nobre, scientist and climate and climate change researcher, and Socorro Neri, the mayor of Rio Branco.
To conclude the series, Walter Figueiredo de Simoni, a specialist in climate and cities at WRI and moderator of the webinars, discusses on October 21, with the doctor, pathologist and researcher Paulo Saldiva, the evident and not so evident impacts of air pollution on the individual and collective health. In Brazil, the monitoring of the air quality is performed by few states, with standards that are up to 4 times less rigid than the safety values defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). In all, over 50,000 people die in Brazil every year due to air pollution.