Clean Air Scorecard


Assessment tool to help cities improve air pollution and GHG emissions management


Air quality management in cities have been traditionally evaluated using the good versus bad list analysis—“100 Dirtiest Cities” or “Top 10 Cities with Best Air Quality”, usually only considering air quality levels for a city. This provides a subjective and incomplete picture as it does not consider the institutional capacity as well as the programs and actions being implemented in the city. Another limitation is it often does not provide guidance where cities can improve.

Aside from addressing traditional air pollutants (particulate matter, Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Carbon monoxide, ozone, and Lead), cities are also pressed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Carbon dioxide, methane, Nitrous oxide, among others).

There are co-benefits of integrating air quality management and climate change mitigation because air pollutants and GHGs are generally emitted together from same sources such as fuel combustion in transport sector and in power (energy) sector. Therefore policy or technological solutions overlap, for example, energy and fuel efficiency.

While tools exist to measure general environmental performance, there is no methodology for an objective and comprehensive assessment of a city’s management of air pollutants and GHG emissions and identification of improvement areas.

Recognizing this need, Clean Air Asia has developed an objective and comprehensive analysis tool for understanding the air quality management status in cities incorporating (1) air quality levels, (2) clean air management capacity and (3) clean air policies and actions and is capable of identifying potential improvement areas for the city — the Clean Air Scorecard.

Overall Structure of the Clean Air Scorecard

I. Air Pollution and Health Index

-assesses air pollution levels of cities against WHO guideline values and interim targets

II. Clean Air Management Capacity Index

-assesses a city’s capacity to (1) determine sources and their contribution, (2) assess air quality status, (3) estimate impacts, and (4) reduce air pollution and GHG emissions through an institutional and policy framework and financing

III. Clean Air Policies and Actions Index

-assesses existence and enforcement of national and local policies and actions to address air pollutants and GHG emissions from mobile, stationary, area and transboundary sources.The Clean Air Scorecard Tool builds on experiences from past benchmarking studies and assessment tools and improved on these. This includes a benchmarking study on air quality management in 20 Asian cities conducted by Clean Air Asia, Korea Environment Institute, Stockholm Environment Institute, and United National Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2006. The assessment covered four components: air quality measurement capacity; data assessment and availability; emissions inventory; and AQM management enabling capacity. The study made use of a questionnaire survey developed in the early 1990s by the World Health Organization (WHO)/UNEP–GEMS Project.

Use of the Clean Air Scorecard

Cities can use the Clean Air Scorecard Results to
1. Have a comprehensive understanding of the status of their air quality management
2. Identify gaps in their air quality and GHG management strategies and activities
3. Benchmark air quality and GHG management developments over time
4. Identify concrete policies and measures to reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases
5. Develop an integrated plan for air quality and GHG emissions management.

For more information, read the Clean Air Scorecard Fact Sheet.

Clean Air Scorecard Application

Since its development in 2010, the Clean Air Scorecard has been applied in 19 Asian cities from nine countries. The implementation of the Clean Air Scorecard in these cities was supported by the ADB, Energy Foundation, Rockefellers Brothers Fund, German International Cooperation (GIZ), and Fredskorpset Norway.

1. Bac Ninh, Vietnam
2. Bangkok, Thailand
3. Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
4. Can Tho, Vietnam
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand
6. Colombo, Sri Lanka
7. Foshan, PR China
8. Guangzhou, PR China
9. Hangzhou, PR China
10. Hanoi, Vietnam
11. Iloilo, Philippines
12. Jakarta, Indonesia
13. Jinan, PR China
14. Kathmandu, Nepal
15. Korat, Thailand
16. Manila, Philippines
17. Quetta, Pakistan
18. Visakhapatnam, India
19. Zhaoqiang, PR China

Download the presentations here.

Index 1: Air Pollution and Health Index was applied for over 300 cities in Asia and results will be presented at the Better Air Quality (BAQ) 2012 in Hong Kong (

We would love to hear your thoughts!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the Clean Air Scorecard tool and its application or if YOU WANT TO APPLY THE CLEAN AIR SCORECARD IN YOUR CITY, please contact us at:

You can also JOIN THE DISCUSSION on the Clean Air Scorecard in our Air Quality and Co-benefits Community.

Relevant articles

Updated: 01 May 2014.

Attachment Size
Clean_Air_Assessment_Factsheet_May_2010.pdf 3.93 MB
Clean_Air_Assessment_Tool_Fact_Sheet-CN.pdf 2.49 MB
Clean_Air_Assessment_Tool_Version_1.0_User_Guidelines-CN.pdf 2.22 MB
Clean_Air_Assessment_Tool_Version_1.0_User_Guidelines-EN.pdf 1.49 MB