Clean Air Institute
What is the Clean Air Institute?

The Clean Air Institute (CAI) is a nonprofit organization, created in 2006 to improve air quality and combat climate change caused by global warming. It was created in 1998 as a result from an accord between the World Bank and the members of the Clean Air Initiative for Latin America cities. The CAI serves as a bridge between nations and cities that are looking for solutions, through benefactors, governmental agencies and consulting providers of the private sector.

The CAI serves as well as a forum for regional strategy and project development and capacity building, technical assistance, and exchange of knowledge. In the same way, it identifies financing opportunities, aims to increase public support and promote alliances to develop and execute projects.

The president and founder of the Institute is Dr. Mario Molina, who won the Nobel Prize in 1995, he holds the Presidency of the CAI’s Executive Board. Other members of the Executive Board are Dr. Alan Lloyd, Ex-Secretary of Environmental Protection in California and Ex-President of the California Air Resources Board, and Richard Ayres a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Where does the CAI carry out its activities?

The Clean Air Institute has a global approach, with Latin American emphasis. Latin America is a highly urbanized region with 133 cities exceeding 500 thousand inhabitants and 51 cities that exceed one million inhabitants. In this region there are located some of the worlds Megacities, such as Sao Paulo and Mexico City. The urbanization pace has been extraordinary, from 42% urbanization in 1950, to the 75% urbanization, and with a projection of 90% for 2030. Vehicle ownership and use of private cars has considerably increased in the last two decades. The vehicle ownership rate per capita has been increasing at an average rate of 4.1% annually between 1999 and 2003.

Poor air quality is an environmental hazard, with transport being generally the greatest source of emissions of criteria pollutants in urban areas. The effects on health exposure are severe and include mortality, morbidity and a decrease in productivity. Transportation also accounts for more than a third of regional carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that CO2 emissions from vehicles in the region will increase by 140% by 2050.

Strategic Approach of the Clean Air Institute

The priority objectives of the CAI are to:

  • Encourage sustainable transport modes by transforming the movement of people and goods in cities.
  • Accelerate the development and use of clean fuels and technologies.
  • Catalyze the sustainability of energy sources, uses and practices.
  • Strengthen partnerships, improve data quality and availability and improve tools for assessing greenhouse gas and air pollutant emission reductions.


CAI is looking for additional partners interested in contributing to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and improving air quality.
If interested please contact:

Sergio Sánchez
Executive Director
Phone. +1 (202) 4645450

CAI Factsheet
CAI Folder