Over the past few years, worsening air quality in India—and in north India specifically—has awakened policy makers and civil society to take urgent action.

There have been some efforts to address air quality, specifically the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which was launched in January 2019 with the aim of improving air quality standards by 20-30 percent over the next five years. While this has been a positive step, we not only need a more ambitious agenda, but also a strong compliance framework that ensures accountability to the targets we have set.

With growing congestion in cities—a trend which is only likely to increase—we need to also look at the transport sector, especially at a time when infrastructure investments such as the Mumbai Coastal Road Project do little to factor in environmental impacts. It is no surprise that fewer cars on the road mean less traffic, less time on the road, and therefore less air pollution exposure.

The development sector, especially foundations and philanthropists, have a unique role to play given their varied expertise and backgrounds. To start with, here are the four most important ways Indian philanthropists can get involved:

  1. Pinpoint the problem
    1. Monitor air quality
    2. Identify pollution sources
    3. Assess health and economic impacts
  2.  Engage the public
    1. Elevate impactful stories
    2. Advocate for policy change and regulation
    3. Build movements
  3.  Enable solutions
    1. Strengthen enforcement capabilities
    2. Boost innovation
  4. Organize collaboration

Read the full article about how philanthropists can address air pollution by Shloka Nath at India Development Review.