Abstract. Air pollution is a major environmental concern for many populations worldwide. Communication efforts so far have been based on a one-way provision of evidence and information from experts to society, and have arguably failed in their mission to foster a more aware and engaged society, or to result in cleaner air. Globally we are facing both an air quality crisis and a communication emergency. This paper focuses on the communication of air pollution risk, from the threats it poses (e.g. severe impacts to human health) to the opportunities it can create (e.g. behavioural or technological alternatives that lead to cleaner air). It supports the case for moving away from one-way communication, and identifies five key benefits of a practical two-way communication between experts and citizens in order to engender positive change and improve global air quality.