London and Bengaluru join forces to tackle air pollution

London and Bengaluru join forces to tackle air pollution

A new initiative aimed at combatting air pollution in cities around the world is to be co-chaired by the mayors of Bengaluru and London.

The Mayor of Bengaluru, Sampath Raj, and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today announced their cities would be involved in leading an international air quality partnership network.

Mr Khan is partway through a six-day tour of India and Pakistan, and is working to strengthen cultural and economic ties between cities in both countries and the British capital.

“Only by working together will we help beat this international health crisis”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

The initiative will be delivered by the C40 Climate Leadership Group, with all 91 member cities invited to join. The first meeting is due to be held in Bengaluru next year.

Data from the World Health Organisation suggests globally, air pollution is causing 6.5 million premature deaths every year, with cities across almost every continent facing air pollution that breaches health guidelines.

Mr Khan said: “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.

“I’m proud today to announce London and Bengaluru will be leading a new air quality partnership. We hope to work with key cities across the world and in India, including with our good friends here in Delhi.”

Mr Raj highlighted the deteriorating air quality in Bengaluru, resulting from increased traffic congestion and construction works.

He said: “We are extremely excited to be co-leading C40’s new Air Quality Network along with London. Together with London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, I look forward to bringing together mayors from cities around the world and sharing our lessons learned, to tackle the urgent need to address air quality in our cities.”

In addition to launching the air quality partnership network, the Mayor of London unveiled a £750,000 scheme to trial a new sensor air quality monitoring system in London. It’ll be used to analyse harmful pollution in up to 1,000 toxic hot spots across the city including near schools, hospitals, construction sites and busy roads.

Data from the scheme will be shared with other cities in the network, potentially leading to further trials taking place in Bengaluru, Delhi and other cities tackling toxic air.

Main image: Traffic Jam in Delhi © NOMAD / CC-BY-2.0

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