Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

USAID and CEEW host National Dialogue on Air Pollution and Health

New Delhi, 31 August 2023: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) hosted a National Dialogue on Cleaner Air and Better Health (CABH) in New Delhi, which brought together key stakeholders from the government, pollution regulating agencies, academic institutions, and civil society to discuss and advance approaches to improving air quality, with a focus on mitigating health impacts.

Veena Reddy, Mission Director, USAID/India, said, “Clean air is an international environmental and health priority for the U.S. government. We are committed to supporting national and international efforts to curb air pollution and its health impacts on our people and planet. In India, USAID’s Cleaner Air Better Health initiative is strengthening pollution mitigation, with a focus on proven models that both reduce pollution and improve community health, while engaging local communities and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable.”

Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW, said, “Clean air is an imperative, an opportunity — and possible. Air pollution is not a seasonal issue in India nor is it just an environmental concern. It affects us year-round and adversely impacts our economic productivity because of its health impacts. Moreover, cleaner air is also an opportunity to attract investment, create new technologies and generate jobs. The Council’s research on air quality and the ground interventions under the CABH project aim to build a community of practice for cleaner air. These range from meetings with self-help groups to ensure more LPG cylinder refills, monitoring and abating air pollution at construction sites, to designing a completely new prototype for efficient boilers for small and medium industries. CABH uses data and evidence to impact solutions and policies at scale.”

Other distinguished speakers and experts at the Dialogue included Mr A. K. Gupta, Additional Director, Regional Centre for Urban And Environmental Studies (RCUES) and Directorate of Urban Transport, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and Dr Randeep Guleria, Chairman, Institute of Internal Medicine & Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and Director Medical Education at Medanta, Ex-Director, AIIMS Delhi.

The event also included an exhibition – Hawa ke Saathi (Friends of Air) – that showcased prototypes of clean air solutions and interventions developed through USAID’s Cleaner Air and Better Health project. Innovations included battery-powered wearable heating solutions for outdoor workers in winter months, a green hydrogen cookstove that provides energy security in areas where fuel delivery is a challenge, and a mini electric tractor designed to meet the specific requirements of small landholders and vegetable farmers.

USAID’s Cleaner Air and Better Health project aims to strengthen air pollution mitigation and reduce exposure to air pollution in India by establishing evidence-based models for better air quality management. The project is being implemented by a consortium led by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and includes ASAR Social Impact Advisors, Environmental Design Solutions, Enviro Legal Defence Firm, and Vital Strategies.

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