BAQ 2014 held in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Download the Final Chair’s Summary here.
The Integrated Conference of BAQ 2014 and Intergovernmental 8th Regional EST Forum in Asia became another milestone in the fight against air pollution. With more than a 1000 delegates participating in the joint conference it did indeed become another milestone in the fight against air pollution and the quest for more sustainable cities and livelihoods for citizens across Asia.
Many of the delegates left with a sense of new purpose and also being equipped with the newest knowledge and learning – and new solutions – for better air quality across Asia.
The solutions were as wide ranging as the problems we face – the challenges of poor air quality, climate change and negative health impacts.
To give you a flavour of some of the solutions and issue debated:
Asia has enormous opportunities to combine multiple strategies effectively – for example stringent technology roadmaps with sustainable mobility practices – walk, cycling and public transport.
City associations and international air quality and climate experts recognized that the Clean Air Asia innovative city certification framework has game-changing potential to drive measurable and replicable environmental results through city-level actions for clean air.
Dieselisation is a serious health and climate concern. Cleaner fuel (10-15 ppm sulfur) is urgently needed for effective control of diesel emissions. In addition we need to increase the share of rail based passenger and freight transport to reduce emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles.
Upward harmonization of stringent emissions standards across regions requires adoption of tighter norms, adequate investments in refineries to produce clean fuel and fiscal strategies to enable transition.
Developing Asia needs to develop more holistic strategies to include on-road, off-road and non-road sources to have a composite emissions reduction roadmap.
Opportunities exist for countries in developing Asia to improve efficiency of their vehicle fleet. Good quality baseline data combined with technological and policy measures can help double fuel efficiency of vehicles providing governments important gains on economic benefits, reduced emissions and decline on oil imports.
The key to addressing household air pollution is to make cleaner cooking fuels and more efficient cookstoves accessible to households, raise awareness on the health impacts.
In maritime transport there is a huge potential for emission reduction. Voluntary initiatives of industry coupled with better enforcement and increasing stricter legislation should start tapping that potential. Also better cooperation in key areas between city governments and ports is essential to reduce impacts of ports and maritime transport.
Brick kiln production is an important source of pollution in South Asia. Energy efficient production processes, advanced lower emissions technology, and high heating value in the fuel used are needed.
And finally Innovative behaviour change campaigns can encourage people to favor non-motorized transport over motorized transport. Clean Air Asia new “WALK” campaign was launched at the Integrated Conference with and aim to nudge people to drive less and walk more; it involves the dissemination of striking signs and messages to communities across Asia.
Since the BAQ started 12 years ago, much has been done to help improve the situation of air quality in Asia and it emerged from the conference that there are new opportunities to help and address the issue of poor air quality.
And the outcomes of the conference signals another step forward in combating the challenges of poor air quality and its health impacts, as well as climate change.
And this is in many ways where the BAQ and this integrated conference have its force and strengths. It brings our community and stakeholders together, re-energizing us and sets a focus for moving forward.
Certainly Clean Air Asia always becomes reinvigorated organizing the BAQ conferences. Inspired by our conference, we at Clean Air Asia are determined to work even more focused and effective for people’s rights to better air quality and livable cities across Asia.
After all healthier air goes hand in hand with building strong partnerships with our members, supporters, founders and stakeholders.
Press releases and news:
The Better Air Quality Conference (BAQ) remains the leading international conference on “air quality” in Asia. BAQ 2014 will be held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 19 to 21 November.
The BAQ conference is a flagship event of Clean Air Asia covering the key sectors of transport, energy, industry and climate change, with a particular emphasis on government policies and measures. Policy makers, practitioners and industry leaders meet at BAQ to network, innovate, learn and share experiences. Past BAQs have proven to leverage change, influence policies, initiate new projects and programs across Asia and not the least establish innovative partnerships.
Follow the Better Air Quality Live Stream: http://www.learntv.lk/stream1.html
Integrated Conference of Better Air Quality 2014 and Intergovernmental 8th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia
The “Integrated Conference of BAQ 2014 and Intergovernmental 8th Regional EST Forum in Asia” co-organized by the Ministry of Transport of Sri Lanka, The Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy of Sri Lanka, Ministry of the Environment of Japan, United Nations Centre for Regional Development, and Clean Air Asia, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and the German International Cooperation.
Theme: Next Generation Solutions for Clean Air and Sustainable Transport − Towards a Livable Society in Asia
Recognizing that clean air and sustainable transport are essential to a livable society in Asia, we call for innovative and smart solutions (policy, institution, technology and financing) that significantly reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases from energy, industry, transport, and area sources, and ensure a safe, equitable, environment and people-friendly transport system by accelerating the shift towards more environmentally sustainable transport (EST) in Asian cities and countries.