Background Note on ‘Cleaning the air in India and its cities’

Air quality is a key challenge globally and in India. Air pollution has detrimental impacts on economic prosperity, health, and quality of life. Globally, more than 80% of city dwellers are exposed to air that is severely polluted. In India, more than 75% of Indian cities have air that does not meet Indian standards on air quality. The recently launched National Clean Air Program presents the first major national-level policy effort to address air pollution in India.

Bloomberg Philanthropies and TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) are joining together in a new partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to offer technical assistance on the National Clean Air Program. Together with the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF), Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI (CEECC)), Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Urban Emissions, and World Resources Institute (WRI) India, support will also be offered to a group of cities (and associated states and state pollution control boards) on air quality issues.

In order to launch this project and to discuss key strategies to improve air quality in India a plenary session on ‘Cleaning the air in India and its cities’ is being organized during the World Sustainable Development Summit, on 11th Feb 2019 from 9.00 am-10.00 am. The session will bring together highlevel representatives of MoEFCC, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and TERI, as well as leading experts in the field of clean air.

The project seeks to help address air pollution in India at multiple levels. At the national level, it aims to help build understanding of the sources of air pollution through emission inventories, and by bringing together experts and stakeholders on air quality issues to develop policy recommendations. At the citylevel, the project aims to develop an understanding of the local sources of air pollution and help develop city level action plans. Through these strands of work, the project will also help develop understanding and awareness of air pollution issues and increase capacities to address the air pollution challenge.