Take Action Against Global Pollution


Target: Achim Steiner, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme

Goal: Prioritize the fight against global pollution.

The most recent effort to combat global pollution include the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, but it fails to make pollution a priority, focusing most of its attention on air contaminants and disregarding other causes like toxic chemicals and industrial waste. As a result, all of the SDGs’ funding has gone towards combating one form of pollution, instead of adequately covering all forms of it.

An estimated 8.4 million deaths in developing countries is caused by pollution each year–that’s almost three times more deaths than those caused by malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. That number is expected to rise as more low and middle income countries fall short in their efforts to combat pollution due to lack of income, technology and knowledge.

Almost 94 percent of the burden of pollution falls on lower-income countries who, unfortunately, are the least qualified to deal with the growing problem. From the contamination of soil and food from heavy metals released by industrialization to the pollution of water systems by sewage and other power plant waste, the issue of pollution is no longer a homeland one, but a global matter. Just as the economy is global, so are pollutants.

Further, the United States and other wealthy nations have largely eliminated life-threatening pollution through strict legislation, regulations, and technological developments. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that this expertise, information and support is bestowed upon developing nations so that global pollution could be eradicated efficiently.

Sign the petition to urge UNEP’s executive director, Achim Steiner, to modify the SDGs goals to include global pollution.


Dear Mr. Achim Steiner,

Pollution has become a bigger epidemic than any illness, disease or condition in this world. It has claimed the lives of almost 8.4 million per year and proves to be deadlier than malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and Ebola combined. Most importantly, it’s grown from being a homeland issue to a global one, yet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals hasn’t made this issue a priority.

Developing countries are responsible for a staggering 94 percent of the pollution we face today. Ironically, developing and low income countries are the least equipped to deal with this pressing issue. As the United States and other wealthy nations cross life-threatening and pollution-related illnesses, diseases and issues of its list of concerns, developing nations suffer greatly dealing with them.

These countries lack the funding, knowledge, technology and even the legislation necessary to make pollution a thing of the past. The truth is, the economy is global and so are pollutants, so more must be done to improve the health and livelihoods of the American population and the global population as well.

Please rectify the SDGs to include the eradication of all forms of pollution, not just airborne contaminants.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Magnus Manske via Wikimedia Commons

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