Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma to lead fight against air pollution in a new UN role


After a successful launch of Paytm Payments Bank, now CEO and Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has taken on a cause close to this heart.

On Tuesday, Vijay Shekhar Sharma or VSS, (as he is fondly called) took a vow to tackle air pollution across the globe as he took on the role of UN Environment’s Patron for Clean Air.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, Paytm

According to UN Environment, as UN Environment’s newest patron, VSS will help drive greater environmental action and awareness, and advocate for the goals of UN Environment’s global #BreatheLife campaign – a major initiative on air quality seeking to influence policy and citizen action for a healthy future.

Talking about Delhi’s deteriorating air quality, VSS stated,

“Delhi is like a mother who is saying she is in pain. This starts from Delhi and becomes a national and global concern.”

He further added,

“I am honoured to be appointed UN Environment Patron of Clean Air. We can't achieve economic well-being without ensuring the well-being of the environment. The private sector is key to ensure cleaner air and a more sustainable future for us all.”

As a part of his designation at UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, VSS highlighted three major opportunities for action on air quality.

First is active use of electric vehicles. Second, creating awareness of the problem (of pollution), and third, better measurement of India’s air quality over the next 12-18 months.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of world’s 20 most-polluted cities are in India. Moreover, Delhi comes in at number 11 overall, among one of world’s most polluted cities.

Speaking on the appointment, Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said,

“Tackling pollution requires all of us, citizens, governance, and business to come together. We need more champions in the private sector like Mr Sharma to drive innovation that will get us to a cleaner future.”

Here’s wishing VSS best of luck for his new role!


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