India now has the deadliest air pollution
A new international report, entitled State of Global Air, just revealed that India’s air pollution is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world!
The report, drawn up by the Health Effects Institute and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, studied air pollution from 1990 to 2015 in countries around the world.
It found that in India, as in China, extremely high air particles concentration lead to 1.1 million premature deaths each year! But trends are different: whereas in China the number of deaths has stabilized globally, it has increased of nearly 50 percent in India between 1990 and 2015! Indeed, there has been some policy response to this matter in China, but not in India.
The alarming increase of premature deaths from air particles in India is mainly due to rapid industrialization, emissions from coal-fired power plants and an increase in vehicle traffic. At the same time, environmental policy has been lacking, while in Europe and in the US environmental regulations have led to substantial progress in reducing particles since 1990. India’s environmental court, the National Green Tribunal, has taken many directives on this matter, but the problem lies more in the lack of power of enforcement. In the end, its decisions resulted in little or no change in practice.
Yet urgent action is needed, especially because sustainable solutions will take time to achieve. For example, developing renewable energy from now will not enable to replace the use of coal – to which Indians are highly dependent today – before years.
The courts recently increased pressure on the government after the high pollution episode in New Delhi last November that plunged the city into a toxic cloud of smoke for ten days…
Dima Doukhi – Étudiante en Master 2 GEDD à Strasbourg
Image libre de droit: https://pixabay.com/fr/fum%C3%A9e-fumer-chemin%C3%A9e-258786/