Although China’s implementation of improving its air quality policies and regulations are beginning to upgrade in recent years, air pollution in cities is still a key concern for the people. Meanwhile, the neighbor country India is also facing severe urban air pollution. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 13 of the world’s top 20 polluted cities are in India. As a critical factor to quality of life and public health, China and India are investing immensely to control their emissions and clean the air. Given the complexity of the challenge the 2 countries are facing, looking at international expertise and experience, creating market opportunities for clean air technology providers is one of the solutions.
On June 23, 2016 Asia Society hosted a workshop dialogue in San Francisco with the theme on ‘Longing for Blue Skies’. Ken Alex, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and the Chair of the Strategic Growth Council was invited. “The United States needs to work at the state and federal level, to show that places like California have shifted away from non-renewable,” Alex shared the experience on the air quality management in California. He mentioned that help for China and India can be found in the technological innovations of Silicon Valley.
Mr. Tonny Xie, the director and founder of Innovation Center for Clean-air Solutions (ICCS), which is acting as the Secretariat for Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC) and Mr. Anup Bandivadekar,the Passenger Vehicles Program Director and India lead with the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), both gave presentations on the current situations and marketing demands from China and India.
Mr Xie said“Air quality is driving the climate change efforts in China. Everybody wants cleaner air. As a result, many heavy polluting industries cannot survive anymore because of air quality requirements, which are forcing industries to innovate and become cleaner.” According to Xie, while air pollution is a very real concern in China, not enough view climate change as a serious problem.
“The Indian bureaucracy is currently juggling multiple priorities; not just local air pollution and climate change, but also poverty alleviation and electrification along with high growth rates,” Bandivadekar noted.
The meeting focused on: Air pollution situations in China and India and how it links to U.S; What is being done in both countries at different levels (national, local), what is not being done that we think could be done; Opportunities for U.S.-China and U.S.-India collaboration on clean air issues; Investment/flow of money related to clean air technologies.
The meeting was organized in partnership with Energy Foundation and China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance.