Plenary session: Strengthening NCAP for Breathable Air

Air pollution is a major problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Nine out of ten people in the world breathe polluted air which is causing about 7 million premature deaths annually. Rapid economic growth, population migration towards urban areas, and inadequate controls have led to degradation of ambient air quality, particularly in cities. More than 75% of Indian cities violate the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS); 122 cities are classified as non-attainment cities. In order to address the issue of air pollution, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India has launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) in January 2019, with the intent of 20-30% reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024 with the base year as 2017. Despite several initiatives of central, state and city governments, air pollution has remained as a major issues to be resolved.

This plenary session in the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) will focus on how the NCAP can be further strengthened in order to achieve air quality beyond the prescribed targets. The session panelists will discuss progress made on several fronts related to NCAP in the last one year, since its launch. The session will have representatives of the Central and local Governments, Member of Parliament, and non-governmental organizations to discuss key measures which can reduce pollution at regional and urban scales. The challenges in implementation of NCAP and air quality management plans at Delhi will also be discussed. TERI with the Bloomberg Philanthropies has been providing technical assistance to MoEFCC on NCAP. The project has analyzed key sources of pollution at both national and city levels and has also identified important sectoral measures for control. Policy briefs/discussion papers have been prepared discussing the implementation mechanisms for identified sectoral measures and will be released in the plenary. The session will also discuss international experiences on air pollution control and the lessons learnt.

  • What are initiatives taken so far to achieve the targets of NCAP ?
  • What are the unresolved issues in NCAP and how the programme can be further strengthened?
  • How cities are trying to control and aligning their activities with NCAP?
  • What are the key sectoral measures for control and implementation strategies at the national scale ?
  • How can India learn from the international experience for faster control of the problem?