London and Bengaluru launch air quality partnership
London and Bengaluru will lead a new global partnership of up to 20 other world cities to tackle air pollution across the world, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Mayor of Bengaluru, Sampath Raj, announced today.
Chaired by the two Mayors, the new global air quality network will help to develop solutions to the international air pollution crisis and will be managed by the C40 Climate Leadership Group, a leading alliance of cities worldwide which have committed to tackling climate change.
The network was announced during Sadiq's visit to Delhi, part of a six-day trade mission to India and Pakistan. Bengaluru will host the first meeting of the network in 2018.
Sadiq also met with children at the Maharaja Agrasain Public School, who were taking part in a science class on air quality using sensors to measure pollution levels around their school.
These sensors were developed by the London Sustainability Exchange for use in London schools and are now also used in schools in Delhi and Nairobi, as part of an air quality awareness project organised by the FIA Foundation charity.
“Air pollution is a global problem that harms the lives of millions of people. Only by working together will we help beat this international health crisis and protect people from breathing in air so filthy it damages their lungs and causes diseases,” Sadiq said.
“I’m proud today to announce London and Bengaluru will be leading a new air quality partnership to work with key world cities, including Delhi, on tackling this heath emergency,” he added.
London will also trial a cutting-edge sensor air quality monitoring system to analyse harmful pollution in up to 1,000 toxic hot spots across the city, including near schools, hospitals, construction sites and busy roads.
The capital will share its results following the trial, which may be rolled out in Bengaluru, Delhi and other cities tackling toxic air.
“The toxic emissions that cause air pollution are also contributing to climate change that threatens to cause devastation to the world’s cities,” Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 said.
“Mayors recognise how urgently they need to act to clean the air we breathe in our cities, and I’m delighted that London and Bangalore are bringing cities together to accelerate action,” he said.
Air pollution causes 6.5 million premature deaths across the world each year, according to the World Health Organization.