The nexus between air quality and climate change is of growing importance, as developing countries grapple with intensifying air pollution. Some believe that local air pollution—an environmental challenge that is more visible and immediately harmful to public health than longer-term climate change—may in fact drive policy and technology that can ultimately both improve air quality and work to mitigate climate change. Yet the impression of mutual gains may be illusory or at least incomplete—there is no guarantee that action on air quality will bring about coherent climate policymaking, nor vice-versa.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a half-day event on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come.
Deborah Gordon is director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where her research focuses on oil and climate change issues in North America and globally.
Judi Greenwald is the deputy director for climate, environment, and energy efficiency in the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.
Daniel Horton is a climate scientist and the principal investigator of the Climate Change Research Group at Northwestern University.
David Livingston is an associate in Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where his research focuses on innovation, markets, and risk.
Varun Rai is an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Energy Systems Transformation Research Group.
Seth Shonkoff is the executive director of the energy science and policy organization PSE Healthy Energy.