"What we want to do is to have a green transition. What we want to see is that the stimulus funds that are now available are being put into a greener future for tomorrow," she added.
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In the new report, the nonprofit Clean Air Fund, which works to combat air pollution and raises money for that aim, tracked $118 million in grants from philanthropic foundations to improve outdoor air quality in the last five years.
At least another $155 million came from official donors, including governments and development banks, it found.
That compares to nearly $153 billion in total development assistance from the world's wealthy governments in 2019.
The air quality funding measured in the report backed projects from technology to measure levels and sources of air pollution, to educational campaigns, fitting scrubbers to industrial chimneys, and introducing cleaner electric buses.
The research showed that loans to improve air quality were far higher than grants, with $2.4 billion going to that purpose in the five-year period, mainly to support activities in China, which launched a major bid to cut pollution.
Matt Whitney of the Clean Air Fund told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that while grant funding had fallen between 2018 and 2019, the overall trend was for it to grow.
While aid may be squeezed due to economic recessions near term, studies have shown how respiratory and heart conditions linked to air pollution make people more susceptible to contracting and suffering severe symptoms of Covid-19, he said.
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