The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC-India) would be organising the national conference on “Air and Water Pollution: Innovations in Regulation, Abatement and Monitoring,” on July 7, 2017 at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi, India.

This conference aims to provide a platform for knowledge-sharing and cross-sectoral engagement related to developments in national and state-level pollution regulation. The conference will see policymakers from India and abroad engage in dialogue with the world’s foremost thinkers on economic, environmental and development policy.

The core objectives for co-convening such a platform are:

  • To identify barriers to policy innovation
  • To discuss scalability of state-level best practices
  • To discuss transferability of international best practices
  • To outline the path forward, emphasizing overlap with India & Development Agenda, UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the National Action Plan on Climate Change Conference Sessions

The sessions would be based on four sub-themes:

  1. Command-and-Control: 
    Successes and Challenges Some questions this session seeks to answer are: When is the command-and-control approach successful? When is it not? What are the challenges to implementing these regulations and how do we know if they are ineffective? How does this type of regulation affect industry and their compliance levels.
  2. Legal Framework:
    How does India’s legal framework present opportunities for new regulation including market based regulation? Which legislations are currently archaic and are in need for amendment? How have other countries created an ecosystem for markets and what major roadblocks did they encounter? Is the penal regime embedded in Indian law robust and flexible enough to meet environmental objectives?
  3. Monitoring and Enforcement:
    What are some common challenges encountered during monitoring rural, urban and industrial pollution? Are there some pollutants that are particularly difficult to monitor? Which enforcement strategies have proven to be most effective?
  4. Information and Transparency:
    How does improved information provide incentives for pollution-reducing behaviour? How successful have international attempts been at improving transparency of pollution data? What are some best practices to follow to ensure information transparency? What does an effective data acquisition and handling system look like?
  5. Market-Based Regulation: Successes and Challenges:
    When and where is a market-based scheme applicable? How can markets aid in achieving India’s climate and development goals? What are the challenges faced by other countries while implementing markets, and how have they seen benefits?

Those speaking at the conference include:

  • Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School, and Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago
  • Shri Anil Jain, Advisor, Energy, NITI Aayog
  • Dr. V Rajagopalan, Ex-Secretary, MoEF
  • Seema Arora, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, CII
  • T.S.R Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary
  • Kate Logan, Green Choice Outreach Director, Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs, China
  • Dr. Sarath Guttikunda, Co-Director, UrbanEmissions
  • Dr. V.M. Motghare, Joint-Director (Air), MPCB
  • Shibani Ghosh, Fellow, Center for Policy Research
  • Mark Templeton, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
  • Shruti Rai Bhardwaj, Joint Director, MoEF&CC
  • Cynthia Giles, Former Assistant Administrator for Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, US EPA
  • Chirag Bhimani, Deputy Environmental Engineer, GPCB
  • Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE
  • Dr. Nathaniel Keohane, Vice President, Global Climate, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Dr. Anant Sudarshan, India Director, EPIC-India
  • Jorgen Thomson, Director, MacArthur Foundation