- The COVID-19 lockdowns have given us cleaner air to breathe – but these gains could just as easily fade away.
- How can climate activists maximise this opportunity to push for lasting change around air pollution?
- This new research reveals the most effective type of campaign – and when to run them.
In December last year, The Global Alliance for Health and Population (GAHP) found air pollution to be the largest cause of premature death worldwide. India alone accounts for over 2 million deaths every year, and 21 out of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India.
Fast forward to the coronavirus lockdown, and the narrative about air pollution is very different. It starts with relief, joy and hope – highlighting blue skies, reduced levels of PM2.5, the ability to breathe, and wildlife sightings that have not occurred in years!
However, when the world opens up, there is a high probability that our gains in air quality will fade away.
How can climate activists use this opportune moment to incite collective action on air pollution?
Collective action often starts with effective campaigns and collaborative initiatives. Clean Air Fund, in partnership with Quilt.AI, analyzed 30 air pollution and public health campaigns and 65 organizations that work on these issues in the Indian context.
We studied 21 million searches and over 10,000 social media posts on air pollution. We ran these through artificial intelligence models on linguistic analysis, object detection and culture analysis, and produced insights on what makes an air pollution campaign in India effective.