The Quest For Clean Air
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New Delhi 30 May 2018|A new study by Louisiana Study University points out towards 13 measures that can reduce air pollution levels by almost 40 percent and avoid nine lakh premature deaths caused by air pollution in India every year. The implementation of these measures may also lead to 50-60 percent reduction of wintertime PM2.5 levels across North India, including Delhi.
“We are presenting, for the first time a set of specific, implementable policies that can halve wintertime pollution in North India. We urge Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change to incorporate these measures into the clean air plan on the national level, and ensure thermal power plants implement the notification of Dec 2015 and set stricter standards for highly polluting industries industry to reduce pollution in a time bound manner” says Sunil Dahiya, Campaigner, Greenpeace India.
Professor Hongliang Zhang, Author of report said “Based on our results, the policy measures with the largest potential for air quality improvements are reducing emissions from thermal power plants, instituting strong emissions standards for industries, reducing solid fuel use in households, shifting to zig-zag kilns in brickmaking, and introducing stronger vehicular emissions standards in an accelerated schedule. However, a comprehensive set of policies including all of the 13 measures are needed to achieve a 40% reduction in air pollution levels and avoid a projected 9 lakh premature deaths per year,”
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) Vs LSU Study
The new LSU study has re-emphasised that that reducing emissions from thermal power plants and industry by instituting strong emissions standards is the policy with the highest potential for reducing air pollution levels. Incorporating emission targets for thermal power plants was part of the recommendations given by various researchers, civil society organisations, lawyers and activists for strengthening the draft version of NCAP put out in public domain by MOEF&CC.
“The LSU study reiterates what people of India have been demanding for long — implementation of emission norms for thermal power plants. The study points out that emission from thermal power plants is the largest single-point source of pollution. However, the Ministry of Environment has chosen to give a leeway to thermal power plants by illegally extending the deadline for implementation of December 2015 standards by five years in addition to the two years already given. Also in the draft NCAP, the ministry has completely missed on the emission and sectoral targets without fixing any realistic measures for implementation” says Dahiya.
The policy measures assessed in the report will constitute a major step towards cleaning air in India.
“If the environment ministry is serious about public health, then it must ensure a stronger National Clean Air Programme and with all the recommendations by Clean Air Collectives as well as the recommendations from the current LSU study should be incorporated in the final versions to reduce air pollution from its source.” concludes Dahiya.
Notes to Editor
- The LSU report is an atmospheric modeling study that identifies ambient air pollution sources and analyses their contribution to pollution levels. The study comes on the heels of the release of draft National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) by the Environment Ministry, which had invited recommendations and comments from the public and stakeholders. Greenpeace India as a part of Clean Air Collective had sent its recommendations earlier this month.
- The study evaluates policy measures addressing multiple sectors such as thermal power (operational, under-construction & new power plants), manufacturing industries, brickmaking, household solid fuels, transport, crop burning, municipal waste burning, construction and residential Diesel Generator sets use.
For further details-
Madhulika Verma, Greenpeace India, firstname.lastname@example.org; +91 9971137736
Sunil Dahiya, Greenpeace India, email@example.com; +91 9013673250
Professor Hongliang Zhang, Author of Report- firstname.lastname@example.org