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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.