Dublin has become the first city in the country to sign up to a global campaign to improve air quality levels by 2030.

The region’s four local authorities have backed the BreatheLife campaign in what has been described as a “rare joint pledge”.

Dublin is one of 76 cities and regions around the world to sign up to the initiative. The aim is to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guideline values within a decade.

Air pollution causes seven million deaths around the world annually. In Ireland, 950 deaths are linked to poor air quality every year.

Speakers at the launch at Dublin’s Mansion House included Dr Maria Neira from World Health Organisation (WHO).

”There is a commitment to reduce air pollution and this means protecting the health of the people and will inspire others,” Dr Neira told RTÉ News.

”This is the beginning of something that will result in plenty of health benefits for Irish citizens.”

WHO estimates that 92% of people around the world breathe air which falls short of recommended guidelines.

”If we look at the European countries there are 400,000 deaths every year [caused by air pollution]. So, there is a lot we need to do,” Dr Neira added.

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