Protecting our health, our communities, and our planet from dangerous air pollution is the no. 1 goal of NRDC’s Climate & Clean Air program. We are working to curb the carbon pollution that is driving dangerous climate change by shifting our electricity generation, industry, and transportation to clean energy. And we are working to clear the air of soot, smog, and toxic pollutants that take thousands of Americans’ lives each year.

We fight to enforce the Clean Air Act, the landmark law adopted in 1970 to protect our health and our environment from dangerous air pollution. Since that time, NRDC has won huge battles to cut lung-destroying smog in our cities; clean up our power plants, cars, and factories; stop acid rain; and save the ozone layer.

Advocating for strong pollution standards and clean energy policies, we bring scientific, economic, and legal expertise to bear on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies. We press Congress to protect and strengthen our clean air laws, and we shine the spotlight on legislators who try to undercut the laws that protect our health and our climate. When our government sets new pollution standards, we help defend them in the courts from the inevitable legal attacks by polluters. And when our government fails to do its job, we go to court to enforce the law.


Climate Change and Health: Air Quality

Climate change threatens the air you breathe by fueling smog and ragweed pollen. About 4 in 10 Americans—nearly 127 million—live in areas with both unhealthy smog and ragweed, a new NRDC analysis finds. To avoid making asthma and allergies even worse, we must reduce carbon emissions and smog-forming pollution. Explore this map to find out how climate change impacts your air quality.

Now we’re in the biggest battle of all: to prevent catastrophic climate change by transforming the way we produce electricity, make the things we need, and move people and goods around. We lead here in the United States, and we can catalyze action around the world.


  • Cleaning up carbon pollution and other dangerous pollutants from America’s power plants, the nation’s largest source of air pollution
  • Protecting children, the elderly, and others from dangerous soot and smog by ensuring that health standards reflect the latest scientific findings and by curbing the emissions that create this pollution
  • Cutting leakage of methane—a powerful climate pollutant—from the oil and gas system, the nation’s second-largest industrial climate polluter
  • Replacing the chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons, used in air conditioners and other products, with new alternatives that are safe for both the ozone layer and the climate


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NRDC and partners went to court Monday to block the Trump EPA’s illegal suspension of critical Clean Air Act safeguards against leaks of methane and other dangerous air pollution from the oil and gas industry.

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Countries gathered in Bangkok for their midyear meeting to make headway on the ongoing phaseout of ozone-killing HCFCs and to start implementing the phase-down of climate-damaging HFCs.

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On its 30th birthday, Montreal Protocol takes on new challenges.

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A bill called the American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act would stop America’s carbon polluters from using our atmosphere as a free dump for their gaseous garbage.

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Climate change is already making hay fever season worse in the United States.

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The Kemper project tells us that scaling up a novel gasification approach from a very small demonstration project to a very large commercial unit is very risky—but carbon capture and storage is still an important tool.