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India air pollution: Will Gujarat's 'cap and trade' programme work?
[2019.07.12, Fri 01:22] AFP Air pollution contributed to the deaths of at least 1.2 million Indians in 2017 - but a unique pilot scheme to combat air pollution in the western state of Gujarat could prove to be a model for the rest of the country. Air pollution in India is caused by fumes from cooking on wood or dung indoors in villages, and a combination of traffic exhaust, soot and construction dust and factory emissions in the cities. Now Gujarat has launched the world's first "Cap and trading" programme to curb particulate air pollution. AFP. Put simply, the government sets a cap on emissions and allows factories to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap. Although industries can trade permits among themselves, the total quantity of these permits are fixed, so that air pollution standards are met. Michael Greenstone, economist and director of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago, says the programme in Surat is a result of a multi-year process that his institute has been working on with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board over the last four years. "Particulate air pollution is shortening lives in India, so if the pilot is successful there is a terrific opportunity for a win-win by scaling up emissions trading in order to reduce industries' compliance costs and to improve air quality which would ultimately [improve] people's health," he adds. Google the news >>