Applying Science and Technology for Clean Air and Climate Co-benefits
09:00 am – 12:05 pm, Western Indonesia Time (WIB)
Four billion or 92 percent of people in Asia and the Pacific are exposed to air pollution levels that endanger their health (UNEP, 2019). Long-term exposure to air pollution is linked with worse COVID-19 health outcomes, especially hospitalization (Imperial College London, 2021). Air pollution also harms the environment, ecosystems and biodiversity, agricultural yields, and the economy. The cost of health damage from fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution alone is equivalent to 9.3 percent of GDP in East Asia and Pacific and 10.3 percent in South Asia in 2019 (World Bank, 2022). In addition, air pollutants contribute to climate change; tropospheric ozone causes warming of the climate while components of particulate matter (PM) have climate cooling or warming effects.
The G20 2022 summit calls for collaboration among countries towards a stronger and more sustainable global recovery. For Asia and the Pacific countries, rebuilding sustainable economies requires science-based solutions to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from key pollution sources, while ensuring a just transition. Improving air quality results in multiple benefits to society, foremost of which is saving lives; protecting the health of women, children and those with co-morbidities; accelerating climate change mitigation; generating green jobs; and promoting economic growth.
Learning from the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) experience in air quality management in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, effective policies to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rely on robust scientific data and clean technology solutions. The recent improvements in air quality monitoring in key Asian cities, accessibility of air quality data, and availability of clean technology solutions for the control of major pollution sources provide opportunities for improving air quality and reducing GHG emissions. Efforts must be taken to rapidly scale up and deploy clean technologies in key sectors (e.g., power generation, transportation, industries including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), waste management) to enable national governments to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The ADB, together with the Government of Indonesia, Indonesian Academy of Sciences (AIPI) and Clean Air Asia, has partnered with the Science20 (S20) engagement group of the G20 to deliver this seminar on applying science and technology to achieve clean air and climate co-benefits on 30 June, 2022.
The objective of this seminar is to: i) foster south – south knowledge sharing among Asian countries on improving air quality and lowering carbon emissions at the same time, ii) highlight the role of robust data for developing sound clean air and low carbon policies, iii) discuss recent advancements in clean technology in Asia and mechanisms to accelerate scaling up of clean technology, and iv) discuss opportunities for collaboration between the public and private sector to increase investments in clean technology.