The North India Office, U.S. Embassy collaborates with RTI International to Confront Air Pollution at its Source

The North India Office, U.S. Embassy collaborates with RTI International to Confront Air Pollution at its Source
~ Organizes a three-part workshop on Confronting Air Pollution at Its Source, across three source sectors namely Agriculture, Infrastructure and Automobile ~

New Delhi, March 11th, 2019: The North India Office, U.S. Embassy in New Delhi in collaboration with RTI International (RTI), today, kick-started the first of the three-part workshop series on Confronting Air Pollution at Its Source, across three source sectors namely Agriculture, Infrastructure and Automobile. The workshop is aimed to share U.S. best practices in the area of combating air pollution in an effort to reduce emissions of fine-particulate matter and other air pollutants that plague North India. The objective of the workshop is to provide a platform to deliberate and discuss various strategies between U.S. and Indian air quality experts, and representatives from three source sectors to interpret best practices to confront air pollution at its source and build consensus and strategy for action-oriented approach. The three-part workshop will result in a report that will be circulated to the relevant policy makers in the government.

The workshops will focus on strategies to minimize emissions, behavioral changes by accepting newer alternative, adoption of tools for estimation of emissions and air quality impacts, enhancing involvement of private sector and the public as part of the change and developing an integrated regulatory approach.

The first workshop that started today saw participation of experts from the infrastructure industry. Key speakers across the three source sectors include Dr. Prakash Doraiswamy, Principal Air Quality Scientist at RTI International; Dr. Laki Tisopulos Deputy Executive Officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District; Mr. Alex Gittelson, The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative; and Dr. Douglas Eisinger, Chief Scientist for Transportation Policy and Planning, Sonoma Technology, Inc.

In the inaugural session Ms. Catherine Fischer, U.S. Embassy North India Office, said, “These workshops are one example of how the United States, through U.S. Embassy New Delhi, is partnering with India to share expertise and best practices to reduce air pollution.”

Dr. Prakash Doraiswamy Principal Air Quality Scientist at RTI International, said, “According to World Health Organization (WHO)’s World Global Ambient Air Quality Database (2018), several North Indian cities rank among the top 25 cities with worst air quality in the world with fine particle (PM2.5) concentrations 10 to 17 times higher than WHO guidelines. Based on the 2016 Global Burden of Disease estimates, about 1.6 million deaths in India annually have been attributed to air pollution. India needs to initiate and implement strategies to tackle the deadly air pollution. The need is to adopt an integrated approach with solutions that provide real impact. The three workshops are designed to engage all stakeholders in brainstorming strategies to tackle air pollution from each of the three source sectors, including adoption of newer alternatives and encouraging a societal change.-.”

Mr. Shalabh Shrivastava, Country Director, RTI International India, said “We at RTI International India are committed to address some of the pressing issues we face through evidence-based solutions and best practices. Our global expertise in the area of combating air pollution can be extremely useful for India as well and through this partnership with the North India Office, U.S. Embassy in New Delhi we hope the respective sectors can contribute through their efforts .”