Climate conference visitors given taste of severely polluted cities

Reuters Connect

Pollution in England, Brazil, China and India can now be experienced by visitors attending climate talks in Madrid, in a feat to raise awareness against the negative health effects of smog.

‘Pollution Pods’ at the COP25 conference were fitted with safe fog machines and perfume blends that reproduce an imitation of air quality of some of the world’s most polluted cities including São Paulo, New Delhi and London.

A pod representing Trondheim of Norway, a city with clean air, was also presented to compare low pollution to the other higher polluting cities.

The Pods were created by Scottish artist Michael Pinsky’s and allows visitors two minutes inside the varyingly polluted rooms.

Visitors experienced itchy eyes, disorientation and shortness of breath after completing the experiment.

According to the World Health Organization, polluted air is killing over seven million people prematurely every year with 600,000 children dying annually from air-pollution related diseases.

In Madrid, the two weeks of talks will aim at bolstering the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb global warming.

The conference is held against a backdrop of unusually severe weather disasters this year, from fires in the Arctic, Amazon and Australia to intense tropical hurricanes.

Delegates are hoping to use the summit to inject fresh momentum into the process, which faces a moment of truth next year when governments are due to unveil more ambitious proposals to cut the production of planet-warming gases.

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