New Delhi : US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on Thursday said he will prioritize working with India to build green energy solutions and support India-US growing bilateral effort to ensure a successful green energy transition.
"As Ambassador, I will prioritise working with India to build green energy solutions and will support our growing bilateral effort to ensure a successful green energy transition," Garcetti said at the "Conversations on U.S. & India: Actions for Clean Air and Better Health" event at the India International Centre on Thursday.
The US Ambassador said: "To safeguard global peace and prosperity, we need a bold agenda to confront global climate change. There is no issue that is more fundamental to the well-being of all our peoples than access to clean air," according to a release issued by the US Embassy in India.
Garcetti said he is pleased to see business leaders and community leaders, parents, family members, young people here as advocates, because nothing changes if we don't advocate for our own health, our community health, our city and our world's health.
The United States together with Delhi-based non-profit Lung Care Foundation on Thursday sponsored "Conversations on U.S. & India: Actions for Clean Air and Better Health".
The US Ambassador during the event kicked off a half-day workshop that included more than 75 civil society leaders, policymakers, educators, healthcare professionals, journalists, and private sector representatives.
The event marked the conclusion of Saaf Hawa Aur Nagrik - SHAN (Clean Air and the Citizen), a four-year comprehensive and multilingual air quality public education campaign in the Delhi-National Capital Region.
Implemented by the Lung Care Foundation (LCF) through a USD 200,000 grant from the US Embassy, the campaign empowered individuals and communities with information and tools to protect themselves from the adverse effects of air pollution and raised awareness on how air pollution contributes to the climate crisis, according to the US Embassy release.
During the event, the US Ambassador also said that the nice thing about the environment is it ignores the borders of human beings, whether it's climate change or whether it's air pollution.
"Air pollution doesn't stop in the fields of Haryana before it gets to New Delhi. You have to work across state lines in order to solve these things. Sometimes when we have fires in the western United States, it blows all the way to East Asia and vice versa to pollute the air over the Pacific Ocean. So when we talk about an Indo-Pacific region, we literally are linked together in the air that we breathe," the US Ambassador said.
Garcetti said the US is here to learn from India on "how to scale up community engagement, to see the campaigns that you have here, to be able to say there are lessons that India can teach us that we can take back to the United States and help share with the world together."
Meanwhile, LCF Founder, Rajiv Khurana, with regards to the SHAN project's success, said: "Implementing a multi-pronged communication strategy, the program deployed a range of community outreach activities."
"This included the creation of engaging wall art, conversations and learning sessions with under-served communities, establishing a community volunteer task force, and placing billboards. The initiative also utilized creative media and capitalized on collaborations with women's groups and resident welfare associations. These diverse methods successfully reached the target groups and increased their engagement in discussions and actions for clean air," he added, as per the official release.
A global climate and health campaigner for Health Care Without Harm, Shweta Narayan, said: "Clean air is the essence of good health and a fundamental right for all humanity."
"Achieving clean air requires a collective effort; it demands collaboration among governments, industries, civil society, and individuals alike. It necessitates bridging gaps, breaking silos, and fostering dialogue to develop holistic strategies that tackle pollution at its root," she said.