IKEA, CIFF give $67m to Clean Air Fund to tackle global air pollution


Simon Hungin


The Clean Air Fund, the world’s largest philanthropically funded organisation focused on tackling air pollution, has received a funding boost of $67 million from both IKEA Foundation ($40 million) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) ($27 million).

Having opened a new office in Accra in 2022, new EU initiatives already in progress in Brussels, and programming to begin in South Africa in the coming year, Clean Air Fund is being further backed to create more new initiatives to combat air pollution globally in the coming years.

Jane Burston, Founder and Executive Director, Clean Air Fund stated that ‘the movement for clean air is at a critical juncture. Despite significant progress over the last four years, much more needs to be done to reduce air pollution, saving millions of lives, reducing enormous health harms and mitigating climate change. This investment will accelerate our work in more countries, and help galvanise commitments from city leaders, governments, and the private sector to tackle air pollution’.

These dangers to health mentioned include 99 per cent of the global population breathing air that breaches World Health Organisation (WHO) limits, according to WHO data, with almost seven million people dying every year as a result of air pollution.

‘The IKEA Foundation is proud to be partnering with the Clean Air Fund to help achieve a world where everyone can breathe clean air. Alongside the climate crisis, air pollution is one of the worst public health emergencies we face today. With our initial funding, the Clean Air Fund has been able to push funders, mayors, national leaders and industry to take clean air seriously and commit to action. With our continuing support, the Clean Air Fund can now double their efforts, improving the health of children and adults by tackling air pollution and accelerating climate action’ added Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.

With air pollution disproportionately affecting people who live in poverty, the Clean Air Fund will be focusing its efforts on working with grassroots communities, as well as encouraging at least 75 multi-national organisations to commit to ambitious plans to reduce their air pollution footprints. The Clean Air Fund will look to reinforce these objectives over the next four years with the aim being to catalyse $250 million during that period to continue the expansion of its air quality programming.

CIFF CEO Kate Hampton, on the decision to increase funding for the Clean Air Fund noted: ‘we’re proud to be able to support the Clean Air Fund’s work on increasing awareness and accountability on air pollution. We urgently need to see action from all stakeholders, including governments and the private sector,  if we are to protect the health and lives of our most vulnerable’.

The Clean Air Fund is a global philanthropic organisation that brings together governments, funders, businesses and campaigners to create a future where everyone breathes clean air.

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change.

Established in 2002, CIFF works with a wide range of partners seeking to transform the lives of children and adolescents in developing countries. Areas of work include sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and child health, opportunities for girls and young women, tackling child slavery and exploitation, and supporting smart ways to slow down and stop climate change.

Simon Hungin is a freelance writer that supports Alliance magazine.

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