Air Pollution

Clearing the air

China has declared war on air pollution. India needs to resume a long-detailed discussion on air quality.

  1. China has acknowledged that environmental problems have hit crisis levels, and its growth model would have to be adjusted to account for the alarming degradation of air and water quality.
  2. India could also do with a renewed focus on air pollution but official response is one of denial questioning the methodology of various studies.
  3. Yale Environmental Performance Index ranked India a dismal 174 (out of 178) on air quality, the official response was, predictably, to question its methodology
  4. India’s own Central Pollution Control Board in 2011 found that nearly all cities were in violation of national standards for respirable particulate matter.
  5. Health costs of such pollution is huge with one even suggesting that air pollution is the fifth-largest killer in India and another estimating a loss of 3.3 years from life expectancy at birth.
  6. Paralysing confrontation has been set up between environmental concerns and growth, a false choice that has hurt both growth prospects and the vital project to protect the environment.
  7. The environment debate needs to explore the opportunities that are created when industry is greened and growing incomes open up spaces for the adoption of more eco-friendly policies.
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