Skip to main content

Deaths in India due to air pollution rose, plummeted in China; situation "serious" in Dec 2017, shows EU satellite

Counterview Desk
Even as ranking one of the worst – 177th among 180 countries – in Environmental Performance Index (EPI), a joint study by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Yale and Columbia universities – released around the time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi the addressed the WEF in Davos – has regretted that India “India has made little progress reducing air pollution levels”, while China has begun achieving the much needed “stability.”
Reporting that India’s rank plummeted by 36 points from 141 in 2016, the study notes, 75% of the rural population in China and India is “without access to modern energy services”, with “over 800 million people rely on traditional biomass for cooking” in India alone.
The study underlines, “Premature deaths from air pollution in China have begun to stabilize, while India has seen a steady rise in air pollution levels and PM2.5-related deaths.” Ranking China 120th of 180 countries, it says, over the last three-and-a-half decades, the number of deaths attributable to PM2.5 in China came down from 16.15 lakh to 10.99 lakh. However, as for India, during the same period, the number of deaths because of PM2.5 has gone up from 13.08 lakh to 16.40 lakh.
PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. Owing to their minute size, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers are able to bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs and some may even enter the circulatory system, leading to chronic diseases such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
India's EPI ranking among
180 countries
Recalling that “China and India combined made up approximately 52% of the 4.2 million deaths globally in 2015”, the study insists on the “the need for national sustainability efforts on a number of fronts, especially cleaning up air quality, protecting biodiversity, and reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.”
Suggesting that, in India, things do not seem to be improving, the study says, “On October 13, 2017, the European Union and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus programme launched the most sophisticated air-pollution satellite ever created”, and the first images “returned from the satellite in December of 2017” highlight “elevated concentrations of NO2 over parts of Europe and high levels of emissions from power plants in India.”
Insisting that “because of their coal consumption” both India and China “face significant challenges in addressing air pollution from sulfur dioxide emissions”, the study says, “Recent satellite studies have found that while Chinese emissions of sulfur dioxide have declined by 75% since 2007, India’s emissions have increased by 50%.”
“As a result”, the study says, “India has overtaken China as the world’s largest emitter of anthropogenic sulfur dioxide… Both India and China must address their air pollution emissions to prevent acidification and other negative ecosystem impacts.”
Pointing out that “air quality remains the leading environmental threat to public health”, the study says, “In November 2017, the government in Delhi declared a state of emergency. Particulate matter levels reached recorded highs of 969 ug/m3”, recalling, “The WHO considers anything over 25 ug/m3 to be unsafe.”
“To put this into perspective”, the study says, “News sites were reporting that breathing the air in Delhi was ‘equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day’. Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi's chief minister, even described the city as ‘a gas chamber’. Blaming farmers who clear fields by burning crops, Kejriwal went on to say, ‘every year this happens during this part of the year. We have to find a [solution] to crop burning in adjoining states’.”

Comments

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

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.