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

Mumbai, 13th September 2022: 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 to curbing air pollution in India. In a step toward the same, effective implementation along with collaboration between all the stakeholders, including the government is key to achieving the desired objectives under it.

While addressing one of the consultation meetings, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, of Paytm, said, “We all must come together to mitigate the impact of air pollution in India. The Forum will work toward 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 a 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. Much 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 the UN’s environment patron for clean air. This initiative is part of Paytm’s commitment to advocating 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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