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Mongolians urge UN attention to air pollution in capital

Mongolians are lodging an online petition for the attention of the United Nations regarding the heavy air pollution in Ulan Bator, the country’s capital, having gathered some 36,500 signatures within about 36 hours.

Ulan Bator
Ulan Bator, Mongolia

The appeal of “Death from Smog in Mongolia #HumanRights’’ was initiated more than 40 hours ago by an Ulan Bator resident who called himself Bat-Enkh.

It was put forward on the petition website – change.org.

Any petition on the website must collect at least 50,000 signatures before it can go forward for consideration.

The air pollution in the capital of landlocked Mongolia is said to be among the world’s heaviest.

The city is home to about half of the country’s population of 3.2 million.

In Ulan Bator, over 800,000 residents burn raw coal and other flammable materials to keep warm and cook meals during the six-month-long winter season, contributing 80 per cent of the local air pollution.

Since the early 2000s, the Mongolian government, international donors and development organisations, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, have spent millions of U.S. dollars combating the air pollution in Ulan Bator.

However, the city has yet to see significant improvements.

Its air pollution on Jan. 30, this year was more than 130 times the safety level set by the World Health Organisation.

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