June 28, 2019

Climate, air quality, and health: long-term goals and near-term actions

The goal of this one-day symposium is to bring together the experts in the area of climate change, air quality, and public health to emphasize the long-term goals and explore the near-term actions that benefit humanity. 

Climate change is unarguably the most important threat facing humanity. The use of fossil fuel is the main cause for the climate change to date and climate change that is unavoidable because of actions to date. Furthermore, the future emissions of greenhouse gases, CO2 in particular, is a major threat. The Paris Accord, though agreed to by many countries, has not produced the needed greenhouse gas emission reductions- the CO2 emissions are not going down to meet the 2C target, let alone the 1.5C aspiration. 

The same fossil fuel use, along with other compounding factors, has led to deterioration of air quality, first in the developed world and now in the developing world. The health impacts of the fossil fuel use due to air quality deterioration is immense- the current estimates are more than 2 million premature deaths every year, mostly in the developing world. The deterioration of air quality is most visible now in Asia. It is very likely that Africa and Latin America will follow the same pattern of deteriorating air quality for economic gains. This would jeopardize more lives in the future. 

Humanity cannot completely stop use of fossil fuels, at least in the near-term. So, what do we do?

To address this question, the symposium will bring together the leading experts of the day in all these areas.  It includes a keynote address by Prof. Mario Molina, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, who has worked for decades on environmental issues.

The Keynote will be followed by three panel discussions: (1) What is the current state? (2) What are the long-term goals and aspirations?; and (3) What are the short-term actions we can take to abate climate change and improve air quality? 

The format of the panel discussion is to have 3 to 4 speakers talking for ~15 mins each followed by 45 minutes of Q&A from the audience.

Convenors

  • Prof. Akkihebbal RavishankaraLE STUDIUM Research Professor
    FROM: Department of Chemistry and Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University - US
    IN RESIDENCE AT: The Institute of Combustion Aerothermal Reactivity and Environment (ICARE) / CNRS, University of Orléans - FR
  • Dr Abdelwahid Mellouki,
    The Institute of Combustion Aerothermal Reactivity and Environment (ICARE) / CNRS, University of Orléans - FR

Keynote Speakers

Programme

  • 08:30    Welcome coffee & registration
  • 09:00    Official Opening - Charles Fournier (Deputy Vice-President for Ecological and Citizen Transition and Cooperation), Sophie Gabillet (General Secretary of LE STUDIUM) & Prof. A. Ravishankara (LE STUDIUM Research Professor)
  • 09:30    Keynote address by Prof. Mario J. MOLINA - Climate Change and Air Quality: Science and Policy

PANEL 1: What are the current states of climate, air quality and health related to climate and air quality?

  • 10:30    Introduction
  • 10:35    Sir Andy Haines - Health and climate change/air quality - our state of knowledge
  • 10:50    Prof. Jos Levieveld - Air quality – an essential goal for sustainability 
  • 11:05    Prof. Markus Amann - Economic drivers of climate? Air quality issues 
  • 11:20    Helena Molin-Valdes - Same target – multiple paths to benefit climate and air quality together
  • 11:35    Discussion: Questions from panelists and audience 
  • 12:15    Lunch

​PANEL 2: What are our goals – long and near term? 

  • 13:30    Introduction
  • 13:50    Dr Juanita Mora-Gómez - Quantification of Greenhouse gases 
  • 14:05    Dr Kathy Law - The Arctic - the canary in the coalmine. Challenges and opportunities in a region undergoing rapid changes
  • 14:20    Dr Catherine Leal-Liousse - Africa - the emerging giant and air quality and health 
  • 14:35    Discussion: Questions from panelist and audience 
  • 15:00    Coffee break

PANEL 3: What are our near-term actions to abate climate change and improve air quality? “Think globally – Act Locally!” 

  • 15:30    Introduction
  • 15:35    Dr Abderrazak Yahyaoui - Climate air quality regional issue and actions
  • 15:50    Prof. Johan Kuylenstierna - Toolkit for regions and nations
  • 16:05    Prof. Tim Butler - Experiences from German Cities & Regions
  • 16:20    Charles Fournier - Centre-Val de Loire Vice-President: Action Plans for the Centre-Val de Loire region
  • 16:35    Discussion: Questions from panelists and audience 
  • 17:15    Prof. A. Ravishankara - Concluding remarks 

CONTEXT

This Conference is organised as part of the PIVOTS Programme (Environmental Technology Innovation, Development and Optimisation Platforms).

The PIVOTS project is a coordinated set of seven experimental and analytical platforms focused on environmental quality monitoring and sustainable management of natural resources (soil, subsurface, surface water, groundwater, sediment and air) within a context of global change (increased anthropogenic pressure and climate change).

The innovation through PIVOTS will be founded on an integrated approach based on excellent research by academic and industrial experts together at all stages of the value chain, from fundamental research to validation of products and services.

The platforms are identified as:

  • DECAP: Development of Environmental Sensors and Pollutants Removal Processes
  • PRIME: Remediation and Innovation in the Service of Environmental Metrology
  • O-ZNS: Observatory of transport in the Unsaturated Zone
  • PERMECA: Testing and Research Platform in Collaborative and Applied Environmental Mechanics
  • PESAt: Soil - Atmosphere exchanges in peat bogs
  • PESAa: Soil - Atmosphere exchanges in Agricultural soils
  • PRAT: Atmospheric Reactivity

The teams involved originate from BRGM (French Geological Survey), University of Orléans, CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research), Antea Group (consulting and engineering), DREAM (cluster of enterprises) and LE STUDIUM (Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies).

Partners of the event