CAR brings together teams of researchers to develop their capacity and pursue multidisciplinary and collaborative research. Ultimately, our research seeks to improve the health of populations through cleaner air and cleaner energy sources. To do this, we have a strong focus on research translation: we undertake research that our stakeholders need and communicate our findings to the wider world.
Research work undertaken by CAR members revolves around three themes: fossil fuels, energy transitions and landscape fires.
Our three research themes
The importance of our research
Air pollution is becoming a serious health concern and a bigger health risk than previously thought.
According to the World Health Organisation 'air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk'. And it doesn't just cause airway conditions like asthma and obstructive diseases. Air pollution exposure has also been linked to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Recently the Lancet Commission reported a startling fact:
Air, water and soil pollution in 2015 was responsible for 9 million deaths worldwide. This was 16% of all global deaths and represents three times the number of deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined and nearly 15 times as many deaths from war and all forms of violence.
And economically, pollution is estimated to cost $4.6 trillion per year. This represents a significant 6.2% of global economic output.
This is why CAR members are uncovering the links between air pollution and health. If we improve how we measure air pollution and improve our understanding of how it impacts health, then we can find ways to mitigate this risk and prevent many deaths.
Importantly, air pollution doesn't just come from burning fossil fuels for energy and transport. In Australia, bushfires represent a significant source of air pollution and are one of the areas that CAR members are looking at in our Landscape Fires research theme.
A significant portion of pollution, especially in developing countries, comes from cooking stoves, indoor heating and lighting. That's why CAR members are looking at ways to minimise pollution from indoor heaters.