By Nitin Bansal

Pollution, a major contributor to climate change, is a growing concern in India, as it is around the world. The country faces one of the highest disease burdens from air pollution in the world, with an estimated 100% of the population living in areas with PM2.5 concentrations – pollution particles that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres – above the World Health Organization’s guidelines.

India is home to more than 17% of the world’s population, making it the world’s second most populous country. That population is increasingly migrating from the countryside to cities – it’s estimated that approximately 25-30 people migrate every minute to cities from the rural areas in India. Delhi, the national capital, grew from a meagre 1 million people in 1950 to a staggering 28 million people by 2018 – that’s more than half of the combined population of all national capitals in the ASEAN region. With further development and population growth, increases in ambient air pollution are anticipated.

In Gujarat, a “cap and trading” programme has been launched to curb particulate air pollution. It’s a collaboration between industry, local municipal authorities, the University of Chicago and Harvard University. In this programme, the government sets a cap on emissions and allows factories to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap. Under the emissions trading system, industries must hold a permit for each unit of particulate that they emit and must comply with the prescribed standard of 150 milligrams per cubic metre of particulate matter released into the atmosphere.

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Areas of Focus: Air Pollution
Definition
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...
EPIC-India
Definition
EPIC-India
As the world’s fastest-growing carbon emitter and second most-polluted country, India is central to the global energy challenge. EPIC’s robust team in India works hand-in-hand with government leaders to implement...