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

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

Would those charged for illegally demolishing Babri now manage a new Ram temple?

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
The long-awaited verdict on the contentious issue of the disputed land in Ayodhya was finally delivered by the Supreme Court on November 9, 2019. The judgement has come after a 70-year-old conflict filled with acrimony, divisiveness, hate and violence between sections of the Hindus and Muslims of the country. At the core of the issue was the Ram Mandir – Babri Masjid dispute: was there a temple on the place where the Masjid was built? To whom should the land be given to?