C40 launched in 2018 a new Air Quality Network focused on helping cities develop and implement air quality policies and solutions in support of efforts to address climate change.
Growing air pollution in cities presents a potential challenge to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Air pollution is responsible for 7 million premature deaths every year according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), with cities across almost every continent experiencing air pollution that breaches WHO guidelines. 91 percent of urban dwellers are regularly forced to breathe dangerously polluted air, as measured by WHO standards.
C40’s Air Quality Network is focused on helping cities identify and implement actions that reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. By identifying climate-friendly solutions that also address the public health crisis of air quality, the Network will support member cities to overcome political barriers and build public support for bold action. Additionally, the AQ Network will support cities to advocate for accelerated action because of the immediacy of the air pollution crisis and health impacts in cities around the world.
Air Quality Network Focus Areas
Cities participating in the network have prioritized four focus areas around which they are actively sharing policies and strategies with one another. The focus areas are:
Monitoring and Measurement – Supporting cities to collect data for measuring the level and make-up of air pollutants, while studying the most cost-effective and accurate measurement technologies available. Cities will review the experience and results of the “London Hyperlocal Monitoring Pilot Project” which aims to augment London’s air quality monitoring system with hyperlocal monitoring technologies to determine the efficacy of low-cost sensors in collecting data that can influence policy decisions.
Health Impact Analysis – Measuring and analysing health impacts of air pollution, and understanding different data collection methods, and other tools commonly used in health benefits analyses.
Making the Case – Helping cities make the political and public case and engage citizens in actions to address air pollution and climate change. This will be accomplished by using local air pollution data and supportive communications campaigns, in collaboration with C40 Benefits Research programme.
Policy Implementation – Supporting cities in addressing regulatory structures, governance, enforcement etc, and delivering data-driven policies that achieve lower air pollution and higher rates of climate action implementation, in collaboration with C40 transportation, energy, buildings, waste and adaptation networks and C40’s Deadline 2020 Climate Action Planning programme.
The Air Quality Network is led by Bengaluru and London.