1. Chai Jing – Investigative journalist, China
Renowned investigative journalist Chai Jing has been widely praised for the powerful documentary, Under the Dome, concerning air pollution in China. She first started the documentary when her infant daughter was diagnosed with a benign tumour in the womb, which Ms Chai blames on air pollution. The film is an investigative report on the subject of China’s environment and the problems of air pollution. It represents an unprecedented model of how a multi-media documentary can turn an environmental crisis into a dynamic media event that achieves mass virality. Only in China the documentary garnered more than 100 million views in less than 48 hours.
“I’d never felt afraid of pollution before and never wore a mask no matter where. But when you carry a life in you, what she breathes, eats and drinks are all your responsibility; then you feel the fear.” – Chai Jing
2. Sunita Narain – Environmentalist and political activist, India
Sunita has been fighting for clean air for decades. The Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment, with which she has been associated and now serves as director general, led the shift to compressed natural gas in Delhi, to reduce air pollution. In 2016 Narain was named on Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People. She appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the documentary Before The Flood (2016).
3. Mike Bloomberg – Businessman, politician, philanthropist, and author
Bloomberg Philanthropies, of which Bloomberg is the founder, focuses on numerous activities to improve air quality around the world. Bloomberg Philanthropies funded a large part of the new air monitoring system in London. It has also established cooperation with Brussels Clean Air Partnership with whom they willingly implement a wide range of projects to support policy to reduce air pollution, including the use of low-cost monitoring devices to provide critical data.
“Fighting air pollution protects public health, combats climate change, and expands economic opportunity, all at the same time.” – Mike Bloomberg