Several recommendations are repeated at each workshop, firstly because of difficulties in fulfilling them, and secondly because they need to be repeated in order to not be forgotten. Such recommendations include:
Better communication to the public
Better communication to finance ministries
Closer cooperation with the UN FCCC
Stable funding of effects work
The first three workshops were organized within the framework of the Mistra ASTA research programme and the following mainly with support from the Swedish Environment Protection Agency. The Nordic Council of Ministers has supported all workshops. Other organizations, such as the European Commission and the UNECE, have supported some of the workshops.
The Saltsjöbaden VII Workshop
The world is under pressure. In recent times we have seen increased threats to nature, health and welfare, and society as a whole. Climate change, the Covid 19 pandemic and the Russian military invasion of Ukraine and conflicts in other parts of the world are examples of high-concern threats. Air pollution should be added to the list of pressures. With more than 7 million premature deaths annually and far more people suffering from poor air quality, air pollution is also a global threat. In addition, the numbers are increasing and the assumption that there are safe levels of air pollution is losing credibility. There are also risks for rollbacks of already achieved improvements.
However, important initiatives to improve the air pollution situations around the world are under way. The World Health Organization published in September 2021 new and stricter air quality guidelines. A review of the Gothenburg Protocol under the Air Convention was finalized in 2022. UNEP recently published its report on the global status of air pollution, highlighting the need for common actions. Initiatives are being taken to control methane emissions. Further, the linkages between climate change / biodiversity and air pollution are receiving increased attention, opening for synergies in control strategies. Finally, the newly inaugurated International Forum for International Cooperation on Air Pollution (FICAP) is opening new venues for international cooperation on air pollution policies and science. Correspondingly, the workshop was arranged around six main discussions, all with the over-arching objective of clarifying if and how international science and policy cooperation can accelerate the transition to a world with less air pollution.