Clean Air, Clean Planet: Climate Pollutant Science | A Dialogue between Scientists and Journalists


Air pollution is certainly a major public health concern: in the Asia-Pacific region, 4 billion people are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution. But it is not widely known or appreciated how polluted air is also a key driver of climate change. Efforts to tackle air pollution are funded in different programs than climate work, and sometimes managed by separate government agencies.

In addition, air pollution doesn’t respect national borders – transboundary air pollution is already a major challenge in some regions including in Southeast Asia. It’s therefore vital that governments tackle these two crises jointly.

The science behind why air pollution exacerbates climate change (and vice versa) is complex, and scientific understanding keeps evolving. What does the latest research show? And how can these findings be communicated to policymakers, industry and the wider public?

This dialogue will enable journalists to engage with some of the world’s leading experts on methane (Dr. Drew Shindell, Duke University, USA), air pollution’s effects on climate change (Prof. Chandra Venkataraman, Indian Institute of Technology), air pollution and the economy (Dr. Tatsuya Hanaoka, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan), and other scientists that come together in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Scientific Advisory Panel. At this moderated dialogue, journalists will also have a chance to share their insights on how the science and policy implications of clean air and climate change can be communicated to non-specialist audiences. Bringing together interested journalists and leading scientists could result in some media stories on how cleaning up the air can have multiple benefits including saving lives and delaying global warming.