Ulaanbaatar, June 25 – The winners of Innovation Challenge “Let’s fight air pollution together” were announced and received prizes today. As part of its efforts to contribute to Mongolia’s green development, the GGGI Mongolia team implemented the “Let’s fight air pollution together” Innovation Challenge in partnership with the Arig Bank since April 2017. This initiative was joined by partner organizations such as Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Ministry of Energy (MOE), the Ministry of Health, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Mayor’s Office of the city of Ulaanbaatar, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the German Agency for International Cooperation.
The second stage of the project has been successfully accomplished with a testing and measurement of 16 shortlisted solutions for the period of January-March 2018. Based on the testing and measurement as well as the assessment of shortlisted solutions with multi-factor indicators, the winners of the challenge were announced during the ceremony. The ceremony consisted of the delivery of the prizes and discussion of future perspectives of the project.
Ulaanbaatar is one of the most polluted cities in the World. Levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air reach their peak in the winter heating season and can register 6-7 times what the World Health Organization (WHO) deems safe levels for human health. The environmental & social cost of this pollution represents a significant burden on public budgets and constrains Mongolia’s economic development.
Studies have shown that the 80-90% of air pollution in the city stems from the burning of raw coal in inefficient coal stoves in the capital’s ger districts. Low income residents of these areas often have little option, coal is a cheap energy source and there is a lack of alternative, affordable, and clean heating solutions available on the market. Those solutions that do exist are often expensive and ill-suited to Mongolia’s harsh climate, Tackling the city’s air pollution problem will require the introduction of viable technological solution(s) that can effectively and affordably displace inefficient and polluting coal stoves.
To drive innovation in this area, and to support the introduction of new solutions to the market GGGI have partnered with Arig bank to launch the “Let’s Fight the Air Pollution” Innovation Challenge. The challenge offered a financial prize to any entrepreneurs or innovators developing suitable, alternative heating solutions and will support them to bring their product to market. GGGI provided technical assistance to ensure that suitable solutions are fit for purpose.