Paytm Foundation and United Nations Environment Program join hands to establish Air Quality Action Forum

Set to work together and put forth discussions, challenges and solutions for tackling India’s air pollution crisis

National and International organizations convened to share scale up programs to reduce air pollution

Under the Corporate sector pillar, which is one of the 6 stakeholder pillars under the AQAF, startups working on scalable air pollution related technologies invited to share their technologies

Paytm Foundation in partnership with United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) set up the Air Quality Action Forum. The forum, through stakeholder consultations, will highlight the efforts undertaken to mitigate the impact of air pollution in India.

The launch of the AQAF is a step to facilitate an inclusive approach towards curbing air pollution in India. In a step towards the same, effective implementation along with collaboration between all the stakeholders, including from the government is key to achieving the desired objectives under it.

While addressing one of the consultation meetings, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, Paytm, said, “We all must come together to mitigate the impact of air pollution in India. The Forum will work towards creating corporate champions. The air quality meters should become part of the Production Linked Incentive scheme."

"There is a need for the inclusion of a clean air initiative as part of “Swachh Bharat Mission” with ranking of states and cities on the basis of air pollution levels," he added.

In line with the objectives of the AQAF, consultation meetings were organized across all six stakeholders, aimed to identify everyone’s views on various issues concerning air pollution in India, and the possible solutions that could lead to its reduction.

Some of the solutions that came out of the consultation meetings are:
  1. Need to create an ecosystem for innovative solutions and products
  2. Promoting pilot studies/ projects to understand the efficacy and scalability of local solutions
  3. Integration of health aspects in the current framework for air quality management and standardization of air quality measurement parameters
The feedback and suggestions from these discussions have provided critical inputs to draft a report on understanding the challenges, gaps, needs and synergizing solutions. The report will be released at the Forum Convention soon. The Centre of Excellence for Research in Climate Change, (CERCA) at IIT-D is being onboarded as an implementing partner. Many other public and private sector organizations and well-known academic institutions like DTU participated and contributed to the success of the consultation meetings.

During the consultations, Shri. Arvind Nautiyal, Member Secretary, Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas, Mr. Sudheer Chintalapati, Joint Director, MoEFCC, and Dr. Prashant Gargava, Member Secretary, CPCB also provided useful insights on the initiatives that the government is undertaking for air pollution mitigation.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been named as UN’s environment patron for clean air. This initiative is part of Paytm’s commitment to advocate UN Environment's global BreatheLife campaign by generating awareness about pressing social and environmental issues, and alleviating them through collaborative partnerships.

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