Eight air heroes

Individuals who never lose sight of the fact that nothing is more important than the air we breathe.

1. Ann Hidalgo politician

The current Mayor of Paris, Ann Hidalgo, has fought for traffic restrictions to reduce smog and stated that she wants to “divide by around half the number of polluting private cars in the French capital”.

2. Tenzing Norgay mountaineer

A sherpa who lived in the ­Himalayas in Nepal, Tenzing Norgay was the first to reach the top of Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. He passed his expertise on to his son Jamling Tenzing Norgay who is also a mountaineer.

3. Berthe Morisot artist

Born in Paris in 1841, Berthe Morisot was one of the impressionist artists who preferred to paint outdoors and inspired countless others to leave their studios and step out into the light. Her own works include sun-drenched scenery and fresh sea views.

4. Forrest Bird aviator

Forrest Bird ­invented the first ventilator ­designed for the mass market. In 1970, he also created a respirator for children, which greatly decreased respiration-related mortality.

5. Bertrand Piccard &
André Borschberg pilots

First to complete a round-the-world flight in a solar-powered plane last year, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Swiss pioneers have also started an ­organisation with the aim of widening the use of clean technology.

6. Larry Winiarski designer

American Larry Winiarski created the Rocket stove recently. It can drastically reduce fuel consumption and emission of toxic gases during cooking in developing countries.

7. Naomi Shah scientist

Five years ago, at the age of 17, American scientist Naomi Shah invented air filters with biological membranes to be used in ventilation to improve the lives of asthma patients.