Only a handful: Among the hearings, only 31 addressed urban air pollution-related matters, less than 8% of the total case hearings reviewed. Photo: The Tribune

Study: Air pollution cases less than 8% of the NGT hearings from 2011-2020

Air quality in India is one of the worst in the world, but over the past decade (2011-2020), air pollution cases formed less than 8% of the cases that were taken up by India’s green court, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), stated a new study, reported by The Bastion. Analysis of NGT data revealed complaints of air pollution were far too few compared to those of water pollution and waste. 

A subset of data was assessed from a recent study that analysed the NGT’s judgments related to urban environmental issues and 420 case hearings were reviewed, of which none involved dismissals and procedural adjournments. The news portal reported that amongst the hearing, only 31 addressed urban air pollution-related matters (less than 8% of the total case hearings reviewed). 

This is far short of the representation of other ‘visible’ domains like waste management and water pollution, which have had over 230 (over 50%) and 130 (over 30%) hearings respectively, The Bastion reported.

Delhi, Kolkata top global PM 2.5 pollution, Shanghai, Moscow have worst NO2 levels

Delhi and Kolkata are the world’s most polluted cities when it comes to content of the very fine and hazardous particulate matter PM2.5, whie Shanghai and Moscow are the worst carriers of NO2 in the world, according to a new report by the US-based Health Effects Institute’s (HEI) State of Global Air Initiative. 

Most cities globally far exceed the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) pollution limits set in its air quality guidelines, the report pointed out. The data from 2010-2019 revealed that while the high particulate matter was found in the air of low-, and middle-income cities, across the globe, cities with higher concentrations of NO2 were of high income.

US law defines CO2 produced by fossil fuels as air pollutant, gains power to regulate it
In a move that boosts anti-fossil fuel legislation, the US amended a law to define carbon dioxide produced by the burning of coal, oil and gas as an “air pollutant”. According to analysts, Biden administration did this by passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which addressed the Supreme Court’s decision in June to restrict the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Analysts told NYT that the new law amends the Clean Air Act, the country’s main air-quality legislation, to define CO2 emitted by the burning of fossil fuels as an “air pollutant.” Thus, clearly giving the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and to use its power to push the adoption of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, experts told the NYT.

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