Integrating clean air, climate, and health policies in the COVID-19 era: the role of co-benefits and the triple R framework

A reason COVID-19 has had such far-reaching impacts is it stems from multiple interconnected risks. The difficulties that policymakers face in managing related risks not only deepen vulnerabilities to COVID-19 but other planetary crises. Explicitly recognizing and acting to achieve the co-benefits of integrated air pollution, climate change, and health policies in the wake of COVID-19 can help policymakers address an air pollution-climate-health crisis. This brief outlines how the 'Triple R framework’—Response, Recovery and Redesign—can help align different government agency and other stakeholder interests behind the kind of integrated clean air, climate, and health policies that can deliver co-benefits. The framework calls for bringing together 1) immediate responses; 2) broader recovery policies backed by stimulus funding, and 3) forward-looking redesigns of infrastructures and institutions. Regional and international organizations could help policymakers achieve co-benefits by demonstrating the application of the 'Triple R framework in diverse contexts.