Elaine Fletcher

BreatheLife Campaign Lead, World Health Organization

Elaine Fletcher is the WHO lead for BreatheLife, a global WHO/UN Environment- led campaign to reduce air pollution, for health and climate benefits, with a particular focus on cities. She works at the nexus of environment and health, advocacy and communications. Ms. Fletcher started out her career as a city government reporter in the USA for Knight-Ridder newspapers. As a foreign correspondent based in Jerusalem, she covered the Oslo peace process and its demise for the San Francisco Examiner and Newhouse News Service, before moving into environment and health research.  In 1998, she co-authored one of the first city-based studies on air pollution-related mortality from transport systems, published in the journal World Transport Policy and Practice.  A follow up study estimated gains that could be obtained from shifting to electric bus systems. The work was anchored in ground-breaking research by Dockery, Pope et al published in the New England Journal of Medicine  in 1993, which had identified a quantitative link between elevated concentrations of air pollution, notably fine particulate matter (PM10) and higher rates of pre-mature mortality in six cities of the USA. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Ms. Fletcher has since authored, co-authored or served as lead editor for over three dozen reports studies and journal articles on aspects of urban health and transport and health, including:  SDG indicators for urban health (Lancet),Urban transport and health: a sourcebook for policymakers in developing cities (GIZ), Co-benefits to health of climate mitigation in the transport sector (WHO), Health as the Pulse of the New Urban Agenda (WHO), and equity aspects of urban environments and transport systems for women, children and marginalized groups.