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Air Quality Management in India: Learning from International Experiences

October 21, 2019

Washington, D.C.

Delhi, India - November 21, 2017: India gate covered in heavy smog.

Delhi, India - November 21, 2017: India gate covered in heavy smog.
Photo credit: Saurav022/

  • Air pollution presents a growing challenge to India’s development.  Air quality has deteriorated across much of the country since 1990, and today, as many as 97 percent of the country’s population is exposed to unhealthy levels of ambient PM2.5.  Recognizing this growing challenge, the Government of India (GoI) launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in January of 2019.  The NCAP has set a time-bound goal for improving air quality across the country, with a focus on around 100 non-attainment cities where air pollution standards are not being met. As GoI tackles this challenge, policies, regulations, instruments, and institutions will need to be further strengthened to achieve substantial reductions in air pollution.

    This workshop brought together international experts --- from Chile, China, European Union, Germany, Mexico, and United States, to share relevant experience on how their countries are tackling air pollution, with focus on: (i) institutional structures to implement an airshed-based management approach; (ii) legislative and regulatory instruments to incentivize state governments to implement air quality management plans; and (iii) the role of market-based instruments (MBI) in helping to achieve air quality standards.

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    The workshop agenda and speakers bios are available here [in .PDF]. 


    Workshop agenda: 





    Welcome and workshop objectives

    Urvashi Narain (Lead Economist, South Asia Region, WB)






    Opening remarks

    John Roome (Regional Director, Sustainable Development, South Asia Region, WB)

    Karin Kemper (Global Director, Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy, WB)



    Keynote Presentation

    (followed by Q&A)

    Nidhi Khare (Joint Secretary, NCAP, Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, Government of India) 




    9:45am– 10:45am




    Airshed-based Management: Lessons from across the world

    Short presentations:

    Chai Fa He (Deputy Director, National Joint Research Center on Air Pollution Causes and Control, China) | Presentation: China's Atmospheric Pollution Prevention and Control: Experience and Achievements [.PDF] 

    Alan Lloyd (former Chairman, California Air Resources Board) | Presentation: Airshed-based Management: Lessons from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) [.PDF]

    Marcelo Mena (Advisor, Climate Change and Circular Economy, Office of the Managing Director of Operations, WB) | Presentation: Airshed AQ Management: Perspectives from Chile [.PDF]

    Till Spranger (Senior Advisor, Regional Air Pollution Control, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany) | Presentation: Air Quality Policy at Different Governance Levels – Germany and Europe [.PDF] 



    Ajay Mathur (Director General, TERI) - moderator of discussion on lessons for India 


    Coffee Break




    11:45am– 12:45pm



    Policies and regulations: global lessons in incentivizing action

    Short presentations:

    Dale Evarts (former Leader, Climate and International Group, Air Quality Office, US EPA) | Presentation: U.S. Air Quality Management: Lessons in Incentivizing Actions for Improved Air Quality [.PDF]

    Sergio Sanchez (former Vice Minister of Environment, Mexico) |  Presentation: Air Quality Management in India: Learning from Internaitonal Experiences [.PDF] 

    Markus Amann (Program Director, Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases, IIASA) | Presentation: European Experience in Incentivizing Airshed-wide Policy Responses [.PDF]




    Genevieve Connors (Practice Manager, Climate Change Strategy & Operations Unit, WB) moderated discussion on lessons for India





    2:15pm– 3:15pm


    Market-based Instruments: role in air quality management

    Short presentations:

    Michael Greenstone (Professor, University of Chicago) and Rohini Pande (Professor, Yale University) | Presentation: Data, Transparency and Market Design: New Frontiers in Environmental Regulation in India [.PDF]

    Alan Krupnick (Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future) | Presentation: Lessons from Reducing PM2.5 Concentrations in the U.S. [.PDF] 

    3:15pm– 4:00pm


    Karin Shepardson (Lead Environmental Specialist, South Asia Region, WB) moderated discussion on lessons for India


    Coffee Break


    4:15pm– 5:15pm

    NCAP and roadmap to Airshed Conclave

    Urvashi Narain (short presentation followed by discussion) Presentation: India Air Quality Program [.PDF] 


    Wrap up and thanks

    Closing remarks from Magda Lovei (Practice Manager, South Asia Region, World Bank)