Episode 50: Confronting the Crisis of Air Pollution

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Listen to the 50th episode of ThoughtSpace (above) featuring Shibani Ghosh, Santosh Harish and Yamini Aiyar. While air pollution levels are unsafe across the country, all-year round, they spike to dangerously high levels during the winter months in North India. This year, as the country confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge of air pollution is even more pressing, given increasing evidence of levels and transmission of the infection being exasperated by pollution. How can India solve this public health emergency? In the 50th episode of ThoughtSpace, Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, speaks with Shibani Ghosh and Santosh Harish, Fellows at CPR’s Iniitative on Climate, Energy and the Environment. Ghosh and Harish have closely studied and engaged with this crisis in various capacities. They shed light on crop burning and other sources of pollution, the challenges of governance and state capacity, the new Commission set up to manage air quality, and the need to build a larger public discourse around the environment that views this problem as a social justice issue. The recommend a shift from reactive, political quick fixes to more systematic, long-term, institutional solutions. You can follow the Centre’s work on air pollution on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPR_India or visit www.cprindia.org.

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