Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

The EU-India Partnership on Air Quality Management held successful Stakeholder Consultations on the National Clean Air Programme for India

25/05/2018 - 08:36
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The EU in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change of India undertook stakeholder consultations to discuss the measures to strengthen India’s National Clean Air Programme, as part of the EU-India partnership.

21st - 22nd May, New Delhi: The EU in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MOEFCC) of India undertook stakeholder consultations to discuss the measures to strengthen India’s National Clean Air Programme, as part of the EU-India partnership.  The workshop was organised by AETS, France along with TERI and was inaugurated by Dr S.P.S Parihar (Chairman CPCB), Dr. Ajay Mathur (TERI), Dr. Shruti Rai Bhardwaj (MoEFCC) and Ms Henriette Faergemann, (Delegation of the European Union in India).

"The impact of air quality on human health is undeniable, and I am pleased that the EU is contributing to its improvement", said Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski before the conference.

On the first day, discussions focussed  on the National Clean Air Programme of India,  with suggestions being made to strengthen the monitoring network, develop emission inventories and improve modelling capabilities and f local air quality action plans at the city level. The role of research institutes, and experts from the European Union in assisting the Indian cities for air quality improvement, was also discussed. Combining expertise, know-how, and experience in the drafting and application of legislation, policy, and technologies to prevent and mitigate polluting emissions to the atmosphere, representatives from State Pollution Control Boards, industry, NGOs, academia, civil society representative and EU experts presented and discussed current challenges and proposed viable solutions to reduce emissions and improve air quality in India.

Invited EU air quality experts included Professor Ana Miranda from University of Aveiro, Portugal, Dr Martin Lutz Head of Air Quality at Senate, Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, Berlin, Germany, and Mr Jim Mills, Managing Director of Air Monitors Ltd, UK. The speakers showcased the technologies and measures which had been successful in Europe and can be customised for Indian conditions for reducing air pollution levels.

On the second day, state-specific consultations were held with Karnataka, Goa, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Presentations from the pilot cities of Goa and Bengaluru presented innovative strategies which could help reducing emissions from different sectors.

Strategies which could help reduce the impact of various local and regional contributing factors to Delhi-NCRs’ pollution were discussed, initiatives presented.

The event concluded with discussions around ranking and prioritisation of measures for reducing air pollution levels at India scale, with enriching discussions on air quality issues at both national and state level. 

Dr Ana Grossinho (AETS) explained the techniques used in the EU for selection and ranking of the measures based on costs, emission reduction potential, technical and political feasibility and time frames. In her closing remarks she listed the following points for common future action, in the context of the established EU-India Partnership on Air Quality Management in India:

  1. The selection and prioritization of national measures to complement and support state board, district and municipality measures, with the establishment of a national to local air quality management system regime based on legal compliance responsibilities clearly mapped by entity. The creation of  a pan governmental steering committee group on air quality with representatives from all ministries with direct or indirect impacts on air quality, collaborating on a systematic review of legislation and regulations, policies and guidance to secure alignment and convergence to the attaining of the required reduction in emissions
  2. The sharing of data and EU experience on determining cost damage values per tonne of pollutant emitted in billion rupees per year, leading to cost benefit analysis to underpin National policies
  3. The sharing of EU FAIRMODE expertise and contribution to the development of a national model to map both baseline conditions and analyse “what if scenarios” to support policy delineation.

The two points above can be supported by the EU GAINS modelling work initiated in India

  1.  Alignment with EU ambient air quality and emission legislation to secure a phased approach to compliance without loosening the stringency of current standards nor emission limits. The sharing of the EU AQUILA expertise and experience on devising and implementing of air quality monitoring certification schemes for continuous monitoring.
  2. Supporting the creation of a National Air Quality Fund by the application of polluter pay principles complemented by end user contributions so that the external cost of air pollution is accounted for in the context of global economies.

“This 1.5-day Stakeholder consultation event on India’s Clean Air Programme was a very fruitful forum for sharing  best practices and enabling the shaping of the road map for a successful national strategy”, said Ms Henriette Faergemann, First Counsellor on Environment, Energy, and Climate Change, from the Delegation of the European Union in India.

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