Skip to main content

Air pollution gobbles up India's 7.9% GDP, leads to huge losses in welfare, income to people: World Bank

Counterview Desk
A top World Bank study has said that India suffered a gross domestic product (GDP) loss of US$ 505,103 or 7.69 percent of the GDP in 2013 as a result of pollution levels, up from US$ 104,906 or 6.80 percent of GDP in 1990. Calling it “welfare loss”, number of deaths during the period have due to air pollution has also gone up – from 1,043,182 in 1990 to 1,403,136 in 2013.
During the same period, the study finds, India’s pollution levels rose from 30.25 PM2.5 (ug/m3) to 46.68 PM2.5 (ug/m3), calculated as particulate matter or particulates, micrograms per cubic meter. These are microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the Earth's atmosphere.
In 2013, among other BRICS countries, the study finds, Brazil suffered a loss of US$ 82,612 (or 2.66 percent of GDP), Russia US$ 279,801 (or 8.28 percent of GDP), China US$ 1,589,767 (or 9.92 percent of GDP), and South Africa US$ 20,656 (or 3.12 percent of GDP). GDP losses are calculated by taking into account such factors like labour income losses and mortality costs.
Titled “The Cost of Air Pollution” Strengthening the Economic Case for Action”, and prepared in association with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington, Seattle, the report states, “In 2013 exposure to ambient and household air pollution cost the world’s economy some $5.11 trillion in welfare losses.”
The study says, “In 2013 welfare losses in low- and middle-income countries accounted for 59 percent of the global total. Higher overall exposure, risks, and losses among middle-income countries are driven in large part by trends in India and China.” It adds, “From 1990 to 2013, welfare losses increased for countries at all income levels other than the OECD countries, which saw a small decline.”
GNI: Gross National Income
“These losses increased by 130 percent and 133 percent for lower- and upper-middle-income countries, respectively, excluding India and China, which saw even greater increases”, the study says, adding, “The countries that experienced the greatest increases in welfare losses from ambient air pollution include many of the fastest-growing, fastest-urbanizing ones.”
While saying that “overall, per capita welfare losses declined for more than half of all countries” the study adds, “South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific were the only two regions in which average losses from household air pollution increased, stemming mainly from the higher per capita losses in China and India.”
Providing estimates of welfare losses in dollar terms, the study says, in 2013 these were pretty high in China (10.9 percent), Sri Lanka (7.5 percent), and India (7.0 percent). However, it adds, welfare losses have declined the most in western and northern Europe, including in Norway (4.5 percent), Sweden (3.3 percent), Denmark (3.1 percent), Finland (2.6 percent), and the United Kingdom (2.5 percent).
The study regrets, 35 percent of the global population resided in areas with concentrations above the WHO norm of an annual average, adding, “The most extreme concentrations experienced by populations in China and India.”
Worse it says, “Since the 1990s, exposure to ambient air pollution has grown in most countries (other than high-income countries), with some of the greatest increases in the heavily populated, fastest-growing regions, including South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific.”

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Critics of your government should not be in jail: PUCL shoots open letter to Modi

Counterview Desk In an open letter, Ravikiran Jain, national president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that raising human rights issues can ‘tarnish’ the country’s reputation, stating, those who raise human rights concerns do it “through established United Nations mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.”

Dalits 'celebrate' Constitutional Power Era in 12,500 villages of 16 districts on Nov 26

By Pradip More*  It is a fact that the majority of the people do not have much knowledge about the law, and especially the Constitution. Yet, today's younger generation is becoming increasingly aware of its rights. One wished it would have been good if it was taught about the Constitution well in the schools.

When judges behave more like priests, delivering sermons from high podium...

By Ajit Singh*  The theory of separation of power found its origins in ancient Greece but with the passage of time it became widespread in other parts of Europe. Early proponent of the theory Greek philosopher Aristotle in “Politics” argued that implementation of constitution in letter and spirit can only be possible if the three elements among whom the power has been distributed are well arranged.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'We are scared to even raise our voice': Delhi sewer workers tell roundtable

By Our Representative  A roundtable attended by more than 100 sewer workers in Delhi, saw sharp voices against the contract system, poor wages and lack of any social benefits. Organised by the Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM), which has refused to reveal the identity of the sewer workers who spoke on the occasion for fear of retaliation from the authorities, saw workers complain that have been working for more than 10 years, hoping that someday they would be made permanent.

Govt of India's 'narrative' of hate, 'clarion call' for onslaught on civil society: Ex-babus

Counterview Desk  Addressing “fellow citizens”, the Constitution Conduct Group (CCG), having former prominent civil servants as it members, has said that recent assertions by National Human Rights Commission National Human Rights Commission Justice (retd) Arun Mishra, the Prime Minister and General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, portent a deliberate and disturbing strategy to “deny civil society the space and wherewithal for its operation.”

Muck being thrown in Uttarakhand rivers: Villagers face 'existential' crisis

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The Uttarakhand government must act fast to clear the path of Dhauli Ganga river about two kilometres ahead of village Neeti and about one kilometre from Ghamsali village, which is about 90 kilometer from Joshi Math town in district Chamoli. The creation of an artificial lake due to throwing of muck and mud can create a catastrophic situation like what happened on February 7, 2021-- the Rishi Ganga-Dhauli Ganga tragedy at Tapovan and Raini village in which over 200 people lost their life.

How Indore turned into water minus city after authorities 'managed' Water Plus title

Water harvester cleaning up hyacinth from an Indore river By Rahul Banerjee*  Recently, the city of Indore was declared the first Water Plus city in India under the Swachh Sarvekshan programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for its ostensibly exemplary waste water management. However, the reality is quite different as a detailed study of the prevailing wastewater management situation in the city shows.

UP govt 'ignoring' demand to fill up teachers' posts despite unemployment: Rights groups

Sandeep Pandey with Shikha Pal Counterview Desk  Commenting on the unique protest undertaken by Shikha Pal atop an overhead water tank for nearly four months, the Socialist Party (India), in association with several civil rights group, Yuva Shakti Sangathan, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha and Rihai Manch, have wondered why has the Yogi Adityanath government is so “insensitive” towards her demands and is looking the “other way.”