Top Court: “Spending More On Treating People Than Curbing Air Pollution”

The overall air quality of Delhi’s national capital region (NCR) remained “severe” (413 AQI) for the third consecutive day on December 12th.  The Supreme Court said that more money was being spent on treating victims of toxic air than on measures to control it. The top court gave the Central Pollution Control Board two weeks to upload on its website all studies conducted by it on impact of deteriorating air quality on health and economy.

WHO: India can gain $8 trillion in climate action, 1 million lives can be saved from air pollution alone

India can earn health benefits worth $3- $8 trillion if it follows targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end this century, says a special report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) released at the UN climate conference in Poland. The study says over 1 million lives can be saved worldwide every year from air pollution alone by 2050 if the 2015 Paris goals are met. The report stressed that the value of health gains is estimated to be around twice the cost of the policies, while the largest gains would be expected in China and India.

EPCA to meet Delhi industries to check if they have stopped using polluting fuels

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) said it plans to meet Industry representatives in Delhi to check if they have shifted from polluting coal to natural gas. The EPCA said that even as they crack down on industries and industrial areas, they all move to non-conforming areas or neighbouring areas where nobody can control them. “We cannot compromise ease of breathing for ease of business,” EPCA member Sunita Narain said.

India’s top court pulls up law ministry for sitting on plan for fuel stickers on private cars

The Supreme Court pulled up the government for sitting on the transport ministry’s plan for stickers on private cars to identify the fuel they use and the year of manufacture. The proposal is pending with the Law ministry since August 13, when the transport ministry had received the top court’s approval for the plan.

The failure to clear this file is one of the reasons why the Environment Protection Control Authority (EPCA) could not stop private diesel vehicles from running in Delhi when pollution levels reached the ‘severe’ category.

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