By Kuwar Singh
India is now home to the world’s first trading programme for particulate air pollution quotas.
On June 5, world environment day, the western state of Gujarat piloted the scheme involving 350 industrial plants in Surat, a densely-populated hub of textile and dye mills as well as the diamond processing industry.
Under the programme, the government first caps the total amount of air particulate matter that can be emitted over a period of time by all the plants together. Then, permits, which allow a certain quantity of emissions, are allotted to each plant. These permits can be bought and sold on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) starting Aug. 1.
Hence, plants can exceed their individual pollution quota by paying a premium to their peers who are more environment-friendly, but the total amount of pollution stays within the defined cap.
A team of academic experts, including Anant Sudarshan from the University of Chicago and Nicholas Ryan from Yale University, worked with the Gujarat government to build the programme.
Continue reading at Quartz India…