Bengaluru and London will lead a global network of major cities to find solutions to improve air quality in cities worldwide under the aegis of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Bengaluru is the only Indian city on the list.
To the uninitiated, C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change by assisting with or creating models that other cities and governments can adopt. “The city has been recognised as capable of leadership in this because of the initiatives for pedestrian-friendly streets (TenderSURE), cycling and initiatives to increase public transport,” said N. Manjunath Prasad, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner, to The Hindu.
Despite these claims, the city continues to struggle with rising air pollution and a phenomenal surge in vehicular growth.
Since the start of this decade, the volume of particulate matter has risen by over 57%. With the city hosting the C40 Air Quality Network conference next year, local officials hope that they will receive more funds in dealing with this urgent problem.
“This is a unique initiative taken by the C40 where major cities from all across the world will take part in tackling climate change. The BBMP will get equipment and grants worth ₹10 million. From that, we will install sensors across 1,000 areas in the city, and we will also establish a monitoring cell,” said Prasad.
Bengaluru’s rise to a leadership role in the Air Quality Network follows its recent participation in the C40 Climate Cities Leadership Group, which includes five other Indian cities —Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Mumbai. This is an alliance of over 90 cities from across the globe.
“C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks while increasing the health, well-being and economic opportunities of urban citizens,” says their website.
What the C40 essentially offers is a platform for big cities to improve, replicate and speed up the process of adopting climate action models and fund equipment backed by an exchange of technical expertise among fellow cities.