Kaushik Raj Hazarika is an advisor for EDF’s air quality work in India and a Project Manager for Clean Air Catalyst in Indore. Clean Air Catalyst is a flagship program launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development and a global consortium of organizations led by World Resources Institute and Environmental Defense Fund.
With a population of 3.4 million, Indore is the commercial hub and most populous city in the state. The city is not meeting the national government’s ambient air quality standards. Reducing air pollution to the recommended levels could save lives, while slowing climate change and addressing social inequities.
Kaushik and Clean Air Catalyst team members are working with local stakeholders and key government organizations like the Indore Municipal Corporation and the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board to tackle the root causes of the city’s pollution.
Kaushik says, “I find Indore’s achievement of being declared the cleanest city for solid waste in India inspiring. It is a testament to the dedication of the public representatives, government officials and general public, and demonstrates what we all can achieve by well-concerted public action. My hope is that Clean Air Catalyst will spur similar innovation and success, making Indore an air quality role model for other South Asian cities.”
Kaushik has been a climate and environment professional in India for over a decade now, working on different issues related to the broader sustainability agenda including natural resource management, forestry, clean energy, circular economy, waste management and now air pollution after joining EDF and leading Clean Air catalyst in India.
Kaushik has found more success driving the climate narrative into public consciousness in his work to achieve better air quality due to the immediate health risks of air pollution. He hopes to use his previous climate experience in his current work to shape Source Awareness, a key aspect of the Catalyst methodology and achieve better air quality apart from highlighting the immediate health risks of air pollution. He says, “Addressing these issues with an approach backed by strong scientific research is incredibly timely and relevant, and I am very hopeful about what Clean Air Catalyst can achieve.”