New Delhi in India and Lahore in the Punjab, Pakistan, are among the cities with the worst air quality in the world (data from AirVisual; https://airvisual.com). The Punjab government last month announced plans to combat toxic smog in the province (see go.nature.com/2atvh29). In our view, a wider-ranging strategy is called for.
The state governments of Pakistan and India need to collaborate to tackle this transboundary environmental issue. They should put aside their differences to develop a joint comprehensive policy. As a first step, they must urgently invest in collecting reliable air-monitoring data together to better understand the risks to public health.
Pakistan and India face many other environmental issues that cross their border. For example, in the climate index for 1997–2016, both were among the top 12 countries most likely to be affected by climate change (see go.nature.com/2bfpztn) and both experienced devastating heatwaves in 2015, with more than 1,600 deaths in Pakistan and 2,500 in India (see go.nature.com/2jswgfr).
Sign up for the daily Nature Briefing email newsletter
Stay up to date with what matters in science and why, handpicked from Nature and other publications worldwide.