The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration, Clean Air Asia, and the Bay Area and South Coast Air Districts have formed the Cities Clean Air Partnership. This is the first major clean air certification and partnership program to encourage air quality protection in cities across the Asia Pacific region.
The Cities Clean Air Partnership aims to strengthen the air quality management in cities across Asia, encourage progress and contribute to reducing the health impacts of air pollution and climate change in Asia. The program will include:
- Certification and scoring system that encourages a city to take clean air actions by earning certifications as it achieves milestones and progresses towards better quality air.
- Empowering cities through training, financial incentives and other partnership and collaboration support.
- Fostering cooperation and peer to peer learning among cities through a cities partnering program.
With the new initiative cities around the US are going to be able to collaborate with cities in Asia Pacific to share experiences and innovations to reduce and control air pollution. Fighting air pollution and growing clean energy economies are major EPA goals. For many years the EPA has worked with environmental agencies, non-profits and industry in Asia to improve prevention and control of emissions of particulate matter and other air pollutants.
Original support for the new scheme came from a US$ 5 million grant from the International Environmental Partnership to advance global environmental collaborations. Clean Air Asia, is developing the partnership which will hopefully drive progress for participating cities, helping them make targeted decisions about the best way to deploy resources and improve air quality.
Kuo-Yen Wei, Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration Minister said, ‘the Cities Clean Air Partnership will greatly accelerate air quality improvement in Asian cities and Taiwan is proud to help initiate this program with the US EPA. We are looking forward to forming ties with other city partners in Asia under this program and the International Environmental Partnership framework.’
Bjarne Pedersen, Executive Director, Clean Air Asia, commented, ‘we can only significantly reduce the problem of air pollution through meaningful and effective partnerships among cities, which is the driving principle of this partnership. This is a landmark initiative towards air pollution prevention and control in Asia. We are looking forward to both delivering real impacts under this pioneering initiative as well as bringing more partners onboard.’
Jack Broadbent, Executive Officer, Bay Area Air District, said, ‘public/private partnerships have proven time and again, that investments in clean air programs can provide large public health dividends. With over US$ 300 million committed over the past several years to reduce port related diesel pollution, investments in cities for greenhouse gas reduction programs, community grants that fund small scale projects which offer real results, we recognise the benefits of these partnerships to successfully tackle our clean air challenges.’
Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd