Clean Air Asia launches ‘WALK’ campaign at BAQ conference

Vehicle emission standards and fuel quality tend to be regulated by government. So most individuals feel powerless in the face of this problem. However concentrations of vehicle emissions are also affected by traffic congestion. And it is here where the organization feels individuals can make a difference.

“Combating air pollution is one of the most pressing and urgent tasks of our times. We can all help to make cleaner air a reality for citizens across Asia.

This campaign encourages action, tangible action, by encouraging people to take concrete steps to reduce air pollution. It also raises the issue of the need to create awareness and using that awareness as leverage for real change,” said Bjarne Pedersen, Clean Air Asia Executive Director.

“If all of Asia’s urban population, numbering 1.7 billion, were to replace short motorized trips that they would have made and shifted those to walking we would have saved over 1.1 million tons of CO2 per year,” said CAA Board of Trustees Member, David Guerrero of advertising agency BBDO Guerrero, which developed the campaign pro‐bono for Clean Air Asia.

The campaign aims to ‘nudge’ urban citizens to drive less and walk more. Initially this takes the form of traffic signs that serve as reminders of the many benefits of walking, both to the individual and society. Ordinary people are thus empowered to make a meaningful contribution in the fight against air pollution by making a small change to the their daily routine.

The WALK Campaign has been trialled in Pasig City, one of 16 cities that comprise the Metro Manila megacity in the Philippines. Pasig was chosen because of the city’s environmental initiatives, including a weekly car‐free day. During the inauguration of the car‐free day, WALK signs were installed on the road.

The BAQ Conference is the flagship event of Clean Air Asia, covering the key sectors of transport, energy and industry, with a particular emphasis on government policies and measures. Policy makers, practitioners and industry leaders meet at BAQ to network, innovate, learn and share experiences. The biennial event was firstly held in 2002 and attracts close to a thousand participants from Asia and the rest of the world.

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