11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

What Does the Air in Our Homes Have To Do With the Climate Crisis?

What Does the Air in Our Homes Have To Do With the Climate Crisis?
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

What Does the Air in Our Homes Have To Do With the Climate Crisis?  Evergreen Action

What Does the Air in Our Homes Have To Do With the Climate Crisis?

The Clean Air Act and its Role in Advancing Sustainable Development Goals

Introduction

The Clean Air Act is a crucial piece of legislation that aims to improve air quality and protect public health. It requires each state and EPA region to implement best-in-class pollution controls in each planning cycle, based on national rules and technology development. This ensures that good policies implemented in one part of the country are considered and replicated nationwide. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plays a key role in reviewing plans for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which regulate ozone and particulate matter. Through this process, the EPA collaborates with state and local leaders to decrease air pollution from buildings.

Advancing Climate Action in the San Joaquin Valley

A recent development in the San Joaquin Valley region of California demonstrates how the Clean Air Act rules can be leveraged to advance climate action. Due to high levels of particulate matter exceeding the EPA’s allowable threshold, the region had to resubmit its state implementation plan (SIP) to address its pollution levels.

However, the EPA determined that the proposed control measures for addressing particulate matter were insufficient as they did not consider zero-emissions technologies for heating systems, despite their availability elsewhere. This indicates that regions across the country will face a strong federal push to clean up pollution, benefiting everyone affected by indoor and outdoor air pollution from buildings.

Opportunities for Improving Air Quality and Upgrading Buildings

While the status of San Joaquin Valley’s SIP is yet to be finalized, it is clear that there is an opportunity to clean the air and upgrade buildings with more efficient and healthier appliances. California’s statewide SIP, for example, includes a commitment to adopt zero-emissions appliance standards, highlighting the potential for zero-emissions appliances to improve air quality under the Clean Air Act.

Other nonattainment areas that have not achieved current or past NAAQS can also take similar action to strengthen existing standards for nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and fine particulate matter. Upcoming SIP deadlines for ozone nonattainment areas, such as Baltimore, Chicago, and Philadelphia, provide an opportunity for these areas to consider zero-emissions appliances as part of their pollution reduction plans. By doing so, states can fulfill their mandate to reduce pollution while simultaneously decreasing fossil fuel emissions and improving the health and housing outcomes of their residents.

Going Beyond National Standards

States that are already in compliance with federal air quality standards can go further by enacting stricter standards through their SIP. They can also pursue stricter regulations outside of the SIP process by designing and implementing their own standards that exceed the requirements of the current NAAQS. Strengthening these standards benefits both states that have yet to comply with them and those that are already making progress in protecting the health and safety of their residents.

Promoting National Action and Decarbonizing Buildings

The regional progress made in improving air quality and decarbonizing buildings can set the stage for national action. State and local leaders have the power to push this action forward through section 111(g) of the Clean Air Act, which allows governors to petition the EPA to set standards for new sources of air pollution, including fossil fuel appliances. To date, no governor has exercised this authority. However, submitting such a petition would initiate the process for more formal regulation of fossil fuel appliances at the national level.

Conclusion

The Clean Air Act and its associated regulations provide essential authorities for cleaning up our air and improving housing quality. By increasing access to cleaner household appliances, we can make significant progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to air quality, climate action, and sustainable cities and communities.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination. Indicator 3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy Target 7.3: By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Indicator 7.3.1: Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Target 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management. Indicator 11.6.2: Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g., PM2.5 and PM10) in cities
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

The article discusses the impact of air pollution on health, specifically indoor and outdoor air pollution from buildings. This aligns with SDG 3, which aims to ensure good health and well-being for all.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

The article mentions the need for zero-emissions technologies for heating systems in order to address particulate matter pollution. This relates to SDG 7, which focuses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

The article highlights the importance of improving air quality in cities and upgrading buildings with more efficient appliances. This connects to SDG 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

SDG 13: Climate Action

The article emphasizes the role of clean air policies in advancing climate action and decarbonizing buildings. This aligns with SDG 13, which focuses on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.

The article discusses the opportunity to decrease air pollution from buildings through the implementation of best-in-class pollution controls. Achieving this would contribute to reducing deaths and illnesses related to air pollution.

Target 7.3: By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

The article highlights the need for zero-emissions technologies for heating systems, indicating a focus on improving energy efficiency in buildings.

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

The article emphasizes the importance of improving air quality in cities and upgrading buildings to reduce pollution. This aligns with the target of reducing the adverse environmental impact of cities.

Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

The article discusses how regional progress in decarbonizing buildings can set the stage for national action. This relates to the target of integrating climate change measures into national policies and planning.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

The article does not explicitly mention indicators. However, based on the content, the following indicators can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets:

Indicator 3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution

This indicator can measure progress in reducing deaths and illnesses related to air pollution from buildings.

Indicator 7.3.1: Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP

This indicator can assess progress in improving energy efficiency in buildings by measuring the energy intensity in relation to primary energy consumption and GDP.

Indicator 11.6.2: Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g., PM2.5 and PM10) in cities

This indicator can measure progress in improving air quality in cities by monitoring the annual mean levels of fine particulate matter, which is a major contributor to air pollution.

Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula

This indicator can assess progress in integrating climate change measures into national policies and planning by tracking the number of countries that have incorporated climate change topics into educational curricula.

4. Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination. Indicator 3.9.1: Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy Target 7.3: By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Indicator 7.3.1: Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Target 11.6:

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: evergreenaction.com

 

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