Public debate over the quality of Delhi's air reliably spikes every winter, along with the readings from air quality monitors. However, public discussion tends to rapidly taper off, even as the air quality remains consistently bad.
The Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment (ICEE) at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) is organising a seminar series - Clearing the Air? Seminar Series on Delhi's Air Pollution - to promote sustained and informed public understanding around the data, impacts, sources and policy challenges involved in clearing Delhi's air. While we will focus on the Delhi context, the series will also reflect the fact that the problem extends far beyond Delhi. The seminar series will present the work of experts in a range of areas, to help promote informed public discussion about what changes are needed, what is possible, and how to get it done. Clearing the air in terms of knowledge and public information, we hope, will make a small contribution toward actually clearing Delhi's air.
About the talk:
The full discussion will be streamed through Facebook live on CPR's Facebook page.
The seminar series began with a talk on air pollutants in Indian cities and gaps in our knowledge about them, followed by two events on health impacts of air pollution, and then on three specific sources of air pollution: transport, crop burning, and municipal solid waste.
In the seventh event, Anumita Roychowdhury, who has been at the forefront of the clean air campaign in India for more than two decades, in conversation with Navroz K Dubash, will examine the practical considerations around governance of air quality in the country. Based on CSE's long experience, what kinds of strategies have been effective in improving Indian air quality regulation and governance, and what has failed to work? What are some of the lessons to be drawn from these efforts at shaping policy through deep government engagement and work with the courts? Are major challenges better institutions, better policy or better implementation and what is the mix of these? How can we move from predominantly reactive measures to effective long term preventive policies? How can the present public concern about air pollution be mobilised from being episodic and somewhat blinkered to becoming sustained and politically salient in an ongoing way? The conversation will go behind the scenes of policy making and action around air quality, in order to inform future efforts.
About the Panelists:
Anumita Roychowdhury is the Executive Director - Research and Advocacy, and Head of Air Pollution and Clean Transportation Programs at the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi. She co-authored the book ‘Slow Murder: The deadly story of vehicular pollution in India’ in 1996 that catalysed the Right to Clean Air campaign in India. She has written and spoken extensively on air pollution and issues relating to transport. Over the years she has participated in many global and national forums on environmental issues and is also associated with various regional networks on air pollution and transportation. In 2016 she was awarded the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award for 2016 (in the category of International Air Pollution Policy) by the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Dr Navroz K Dubash is a senior fellow at CPR and coordinator of the Initiative on Climate, Energy, and Environment. His research and policy interests include climate change policy and governance, the political economy of energy and water, the regulatory state in the developing world and the role of civil society in global environmental governance. In 2015 he was conferred the 12th T N Khoshoo Memorial Award in recognition of the impact of his work on Indian climate change policy and the international discourse on global climate governance.
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CPR's ICEE produces research, informs public opinion and generates debate on climate, energy and environment policy at international, national and sub-national levels. Our goal is to enhance policy outcomes through informed research and policy dialogue within India and internationally.