This story was contributed by the Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department, Quezon City Local Government as part of celebrations of the inaugural International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.
Quezon City’s guiding principle has always been to provide “a better quality of life that people truly deserve”. One of the pillars of this principle is the environment, and the city’s current administration is prioritizing ambitious environmental action to realize its vision to “Build a Livable, Green, Sustainable and Climate-Resilient City.”
Quezon City’s efforts to meet environmental protection and sustainability targets has seen it enact an Environment Code that protects the environment through policies to control and reduce air, land and water pollution, and protect biodiversity.
“The future we want for Quezon City is for people to be well-informed and actively participating in the campaign for clean air by shifting away from unsustainable practices,” said Ma. Josefina G. Belmonte, Mayor of Quezon City. “This will provide every citizen with the benefits of clean air.”
Through its active membership in various city networks and organizations like C40, ICLEI, and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the city has signed numerous international commitments including the Paris Pledge of Action, Deadline 2020, the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, and the C40 Good Food Declaration.
To improve air quality, Quezon City’s government initiated concrete plans of action to prevent pollution that poses a threat to its people.
In 2019 the city signed the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, committing it to establish an air quality monitoring network to enable the development of targeted and effective policies and programmes to reduce air pollution and bring air quality in line with national standards and WHO guidelines. It also commits the city to share real-time air quality data with the public, and develop an air quality management plan to integrate and coordinate its pollution-reducing policies and programmes.
Through C40’s Air Quality Technical Assistance Programme Quezon City is working with Clean Air Asia to establish a baseline air pollution inventory, develop a roadmap and recommendations for an air quality monitoring network, and to produce a roadmap to develop an air quality management plan.
Quezon city is also working to reduce black carbon emissions by assessing the levels of black carbon in the air and collecting data to develop reduction plans and activities.
The city is a member of the BreatheLife campaign, run by the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. BreatheLife is helping the city share knowledge and experience with other cities helps develop awareness-raising campaigns and strategies and teaches people to reduce air pollution and promote cleaner air.
Quezon City is now moving toward low carbon development by exploring investments in sustainable mobility projects like the electrification of government transportation services and the promotion of e-jeepneys and e-tricycles as alternative modes of public transportation. It is putting in place green corridors and expanding bicycle lanes to encourage cycling and walking as part of its development plan.
These air quality initiatives set the foundation for increased public awareness and engagement in activities to improve air quality and build a better future for Quezon City, the Philippines and the world.