Saturday, February 28, 2015

Air Pollution News & Alerts - February 28th, 2015

Times of India, February 28th, 2015
Gurgaon air quality comes under the radar.

Asia One, February 28th, 2015
Beijing imposes fees to curb dust emissions.

Times of India, February 28th, 2o15
Five polluting thermal plants lose bank guarantee.

Reuters, February 28th, 2015
Doctors should take lead in push to curb climate change.

Times of India, February 28th, 2015
NTPC says Badarpur plant doesn’t pollute.

Global Times, February 28th, 2015
Polluted cities’ leaders warned.

Foreign Policy, February 28th, 2015
Watch China’s Silent Assassin in Action.

Outlook, February 27th, 2015
Air Pollution Levels in Delhi Nine Times That of WHO Limit.

The Guardian, February 27th, 2015
State and federal governments agree to crack down on air pollution.

Turkish Weekly, February 27th, 2015
Ghana leader vows to 'fix' energy crisis.

Business Recorder, February 27th, 2015
Coal transportation: feasibility study commissioned.

Times of India, February 27th, 2015
Singapore Dreams Amid Goa’s Traffic Nightmare.

Times of India, February 27th, 2015
PWD minister declares war on dust and clutter.

Times of India, February 27th, 2015
Kejriwal promises to shut Okhla waste plant.

Deccan Chronicle, February 27th, 2015
Toxic Delhi getting dangerous.

Bloomberg, February 26th, 2015
Air Pollution Turned This Chinese City Into a Ghost Town.

Economic Times, February 26th, 2015
US, Japan & German embassies contemplating reduction of tenure of diplomats due to Delhi's poor air quality.

NPR, February 25th, 2015
Young Indians Learn To Fight Pollution To Save Lives.

Foreign Affairs, February 25th, 2015
Harder to Breathe - India's Pollution Crisis—And What To Do About It.

Earth Week, Feburary 25th, 2015
Chinese Pollution Chokes Korean Peninsula.

SciTech, February 25th, 2015
Watchdogs slam pollution deal in Ireland.

Bangkok Post, February 25th, 2015
Coal's day is over, but it's trying to hang on.

Eco-Business, February 24th, 2015
Indian thermal plants worst polluters.

International Business Times, February 24th, 2015
India: Air pollution from fossil fuels cuts short millions of lives by three years.

Business Standard, February 24th, 2015
Save lives, fight air pollution.

Hindustan Times, February 23rd, 2015
US scientist runs pollution check on Capital in an auto.

India Real Time, February 23rd, 2015
Al Gore on Pollution in Delhi.

Zee News, February 23rd, 2015
Fly-ash mismanagement cause of pollution in Odisha.

The Huffington Post, February 23rd, 2015
Preventing Sea Level Rise in New York City While Cleaning the Air in India and China.

India TV, February 23rd, 2015
Heavy pollution levels choking Delhi.

Wall Street Journal, February 23rd, 2015
Al Gore on Pollution in Delhi.

Economic Times, February 23rd, 2015
Air pollution cutting 660 million lives short by 3 years.

Huffington Post, February 23rd, 2015
Dirty Air, Murky Politics And The AAP's Delhi Pollution Challenge.

Myanmar News, February 23rd, 2015
YCDC to begin air pollution monitoring at 15 locations.

New York Times, Febraury 23rd, 2015
Cutting Through India’s Smog.

Hindustan Times, February 22nd, 2015
Capital’s unbreathable air: No clean-up till we own up.

NDTV, February 22nd, 2015
India's Thermal Power Plants Lag on Emissions and Efficiency.

Economic Times, February 22nd, 2015
Badarpur among most polluting and wasteful power plants.

Hindustan Times, February 22nd, 2015
For some, relocation is solution to Capital’s horrid air pollution.

Deccan Chronicle, February 22nd, 2015
Telangana State, Andhra Pradesh thermal plants are worst.

Economic Times, February 22nd, 2015
India’s poor air quality: Pressure on government to speed up corrective measures.

International Business Times, February 21st, 2015
Air Pollution In India Reducing Lifespan Of Over 660M People By 3 Years.

New York Times, February 21st, 2015
Polluted Air Cuts Years Off Lives of Millions in India.

CBC News, February 21st, 2015
India's air pollution cutting lives short by 3 years.

Indian Express, February 21st, 2015
Coughing Kejriwal: Scary Mandate and Scary Pollution.

Business Standard, February 21st, 2015
Most power plants in India falter on green regulation: CSE.

Deccan Chronicle, Febraury 21st, 2015
'Unacceptable levels' of pollution in Delhi.

Times of India, February 21st, 2015
Experts debate advisory during green emergency.

Zee News, February 21st, 2015
High air pollution cuts most Indian lives by 3 years.

Financial Express, February 20th, 2015
Unacceptable levels of pollution in Delhi.

Live Mint, Feburary 20th, 2015
What makes Delhi’s air the worst in the world?

Nepali Times, February 20th, 2015
Getting rid of soot.

NewsX, February 20th, 2015
Smartphones to monitor real-time air pollution.

NDTV, February 20th, 2015
U.S. to Monitor Air Quality in India and Other Countries.

Hans India, February 20th, 2015
Air pollution reaches dangerous level in 106 Chinese cities.

Indian Express, February 20th, 2015
Those travelling by public transport most at risk of air pollution.

Washington Post, February 20th, 2015
Scientists zeroing in on where air pollution goes in winter.

The Hindu, February 20th, 2015
Through the smog, darkly.

Hindustan Times, February 20th, 2015
Govts dither as Delhi chokes on its own air.

Investors.Com, February 20th, 2015
Electric Cars Aren't So Green After All.

Washington Post, February 20th, 2015
U.S. embassies are going to measure other countries’ air quality. Surprise: Some don’t like it much.

Customs Today, February 20th, 2015
Punjab EPD plans to upgrade brick kilns’ technology to minimize air pollution.

Business Standard, February 20th, 2015
Rural India's LPG failure kills people, changes weather.

China Daily, February 20th, 2015
Air pollution surges amid New Year fireworks.

Science Daily, February 19th, 2015
Clearing up Europe's air pollution hotspots.

The City Fix, February 19th, 2015
Why India needs open data for better urban mobility.

Xinhua News, February 19th, 2015
42,800 new-energy vehicles exempt from purchase tax.

China Daily, February 19th, 2015
Key pollutants to drop in 5 to 10 yrs.

eNews, February 19th, 2015
Cleaner Electricity Will Be More Reliable, NRDC Expert Says.

Phys.Org, February 19th, 2015
Clearing up Europe's air pollution hotspots.

NY Times, February 19th, 2015
U.S. to Monitor Air Quality in India and Other Countries.

Global Post, February 19th, 2015
Chinese New Year fireworks increase air pollution by 25 times in Beijing.

 World Bank, February 19th, 2015
Clean Air and Healthy Lungs: How to Better Tackle Air Pollution.

Times of India, February 18th, 2015
Pune, Delhi get app to check air pollution levels.

India Today, February 18th, 2015
We have to take emergency measures to check air pollution in Delhi.

DW News, February 18th, 2015
The big smog: Cities plagued by air pollution.

Hindustan Times, February 18th, 2015
Coal supply to thermal plants in Punjab to be hit.

Business Standard, February 18th, 2015
NTPC to supply 40% more power to UP by 2016-17.

Times of India, February 17th, 2015
PCB blamed for rise in vehicular pollution.

Times of India, February 17th, 2015
Air pollution level in city schools ‘alarmingly high’.

Financial Times, February 17th, 2015
PM2.5 level in Delhi 10 times more than WHO limits: Greenpeace.

Quartz, February 17th, 2015
China is bragging that air pollution fell by 11% last year.

Zee News, February 17th, 2015
Delhi schoolchildren exposed to very unhealthy air.

The Guardian, February 15th, 2015
Iran MPs wear medical face masks to protest air pollution.

Hindustan Times, February 15th, 2015
Alarming air pollution is what Kejriwal must fight.

PR-Inside News, February 15th, 2015
Clean coal technologies market forecast to attain revenues of US$31Bn by 2018.

Tehran Times, February 15th, 2015
Health minister: Scientific approach needed to tackle Ahvaz air pollution.

Philly.Com, February 15th, 2015
GreenSpace: Save the heart by avoiding pollution.

Hindustan Times, February 15th, 2015
Centre to launch air pollution app.

Economic Times, February 14th, 2015
AAP government's to do list: Address Delhi's air pollution.

New York Times, February 14th, 2015
Delhi Wakes Up to an Air Pollution Problem It Cannot Ignore.

The Hindu, February 13th, 2015
India to be power surplus in 2019: Goyal.

Hans India, February 13th, 2015
Traffic lights put drivers at high air pollution risk.

Xinhua Net, February 13th, 2015
China Focus: Beijing serious about Winter Olympics bid.

Channel News Asia, Febraury 13th, 2015
Fitness-wave floods China as air pollution forces indoor exercise.

The Hindu, February 13th, 2015
Tackling pollution in India.

The Hindu, February 13th, 2015
A.P. policy emphasises on rooftop solar power projects.

MEP China, February 12th, 2015
Beijing to double charging stations before 2016.

The Guardian, February 11th, 2015
Boris Johnson advised his London air pollution plans are too little, too late.

IBN Live, February 11th, 2015
Air pollution in Delhi alarming, HC calls for pollution map.

Haaretz News, February 11th, 2015
Dust storm causes worst air pollution in Israel in five years.

Dhaka Tribune, February 10th, 2015
Inhaling poison in Dhaka.

Times of India, February 10th, 2015
Fuel norms may be flashpoint between new govt and Centre.

Nature World News, Febuary 10th, 2015
Man-Made Air Pollution Started With the Incas.

Power Engineering, February 10th, 2015
China coal capacity forecast to hit 1367 GW.

Odisha Sun Times, February 10th, 2015
Experts caution over coal usage in Asia.

Economic Times, February 9th, 2015
Air pollution in Delhi: Delhi High Court notice to government, other agencies.
 India.Com, February 8th, 2015
R K Pachauri Interview: New Delhi government must give high priority to environmental issues.

Times of India, February 8th, 2015
Koradi resident moves MPCB over power plant pollution.

PBS News, February 8th, 2015
India grapples with air pollution crisis.

The Newyorker, February 8th, 2015
China Tries a New Tactic to Combat Pollution: Transparency.

Deccan Chronicle, February 8th, 2015
Thermal plants pollute air, water in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana.

Times of India, February 8th, 2015
Soaring pollution pushes up sales of air purifiers.

Havasu News, February 8th, 2015
California's air pollution caused by ozone from Asia.

The Economist, February 7th, 2015
Air pollution in India - Breathe uneasy.

Environment News Service, February 7th, 2015
Obama’s FY 2016 Budget: What’s In It for the Environment?

Economic Times, February 6th, 2015
Government mulls swapping of coal supplies only for state-run utilities.

IBN Live, February 6th, 2015
India among most at risk of climate change: Global Commission.

Asian Correspondent, February 6th, 2015
China’s dismal air pollution stats are an improvement on 2013.

Bristol Post, February 6th, 2015
Air pollution in Bristol kills 200 people a year.

DNA India, February 6th, 2015
HC to take up issue of air pollution in Delhi.

Power Technology, February 5th, 2015
Turkey plans to spend $50bn to boost power generation by 2018.

Times of India, February 5th, 2015
Every Bengalurean smokes 6 cigarettes a day!

Times of India, February 5th, 2015
Delhi’s poor air quality not acceptable.

Hindustan Times, February 5th, 2015
On offer: Cost-effective measures to rid India of air pollution.

World Bulletin, February 5th, 2015
Shanghai to spend $16 billion on anti-pollution projects.

The Hindu, February 5th, 2015
Concern over reports of air pollution.

Telegraph, February 5th, 2015
Fossil fuel pollution kills 553 people in Northern Ireland every year.

Legally India, February 5th, 2015
Delhi HC wants city's dirty air cleaned somehow by somebody in animals-poisoned-by-pollution-petition., February 5th, 2015
Delhi, don't hold your breath: the poll results won't clear the air!

Economic Times, February 5th, 2015
Clean air must be a birth right for all.

China Daily, February 5th, 2015
PM2.5 kills like smoking.

Shanghai Daily, February 5th, 2015
US$16b to be spent on anti-pollution projects.

Hindustan Times, February 5th, 2015
On offer: Cost-effective measures to rid India of air pollution.

Times of India, February 5th, 2015
Delhi elections 2015: Clean power, alternative energy & low emissions.

Weather Channel, February 5th, 2015
Air Pollution Alters Human DNA.

The Guardian, February 4th, 2015
Health sector should divest from fossil fuels.

Times of India, February 4th, 2015
Industries near Taj flout SC ban.

Times of India, February 4th, 2015
Household pollution – the killer behind your doors.

The Nation, February 4th, 2015
Air pollution in China could cause over 250,000 premature deaths.

EurekAlert, February 4th, 2015Understanding air pollution from biomass burners used for heating.

 China Daily, February 4th, 2015
China adopts new contingency plan for environmental emergencies.

Science Daily, February 4th, 2015
Catalyst uses light to convert nitrogen to ammonia: Potential for environmentally friendly fertilizer.

Science Daily, February 4th, 2015
Understanding air pollution from biomass burners used for heating.

Manila Bulletin, February 4th, 2015
SC decision paves way for 600-MW Subic power project.

Energy Central, February 4th, 2015
Australia : Industry and science cooperation to advance carbon storage technology.

Times of India, February 4th, 2015
Clean up capital's air.

Yorkshire Post, February 4th, 2015
Warning over funding of fossil fuels.

Bangkok Post, February 3rd, 2015
Fire-ravaged tyre plant hit by shutdown.

US News, February 3rd, 2015
Mercury Air Pollution Reflected in Ocean Fish.

Chicago Business, February 3rd, 2015
FutureGen 'clean-coal' plant is dead.

BBC news, February 3rd, 2015
Most China cities fail to meet air quality standards.

Good Magazine, February 3rd, 2015
Watch Chinese Air Pollution Work Its Way Around the World in This Scary NASA Animation.

Moscow Times, February 3rd, 2015
Taking Action on Air Pollution Will Save Lives.

Sci.Dev.Net, February 3rd, 2015
Putting a price on deaths from vehicle pollution.

Money Control, February 3rd, 2015
JSW Energy looks to buyout 4k MW of stressed power projects.

All Africa, February 3rd, 2015
Nigeria: Coal Power to the Rescue.

Science Daily, February 3rd, 2015
Role of gravitational instabilities in volcanic ash deposition: The example of Eyjafjallajökull.

NPR, February 2nd, 2015
Here's How To End Iowa's Great Nitrate Fight.

Science Daily, February 2nd, 2015
Clean technology can partially make up for weak CO2 pricing.

The City Fix, February 2nd, 2015
How to enable safer access to mass transit in Indian cities.

Power Engineering, February 2nd, 2015
Pakistan to shelve 6600 MW coal power project.

Mourong Express, February 2nd, 2015
Clearing the air: What we breath in.

Pollution Solutions, February 2nd, 2015
Are China’s Pollution Problems Too Far-Gone?

NCAR, February 2nd, 2015
Cold facts of air pollution.

Reuters, February 2nd, 2015
Obama 2016 budget urges states to cut emissions faster.

Financial Express, February 2nd, 2015
Delhi pollution fears drive Barrack Obama team to deploy 1,800 top-of-the-class air purifiers.

Hindustan Times, February 1st, 2015
Delhi elections: Lack of importance given to air pollution appalling.

Times of India, February 1st, 2015
Vehicle fumes cause cancer.

Hindustan Times, February 1st, 2015
Cellphones fueling air pollution, global warming.

Nature World News, January 31st, 2015
Watch as Asian Air Pollution Chokes the World.

Science Daily, January 30th, 2015
Heat waves becoming more prominent in urban areas.

Hydrocarbon Engineering, January 30th, 2015The US-China climate agreement.

Energy Central, January 30th, 2015India raises $3bn selling state coal company shares.

Science Daily, January 29th, 2015
Where did the missing oil go? New study says some is sitting on the Gulf floor.

Science Daily, January 29th, 2015
Global warming won't mean more storms: Big storms to get bigger, small storms to shrink.

ECNS, January 29th, 2015
Northern China cities act to curb air pollution.

The News, January 29th, 2015
Environmental Agency in China using drones to catch polluters.

Shipping News, January 29th, 2015
China cuts thermal coal use by 3pc.

Press Release Rocket, January 28th, 2015
China Thermal Power Denitration Industry Report 2014-2017.

China Daily, January 28th, 2015
Car ownership tops 154 million in China in 2014.

South China Morning Post, Janaury 27th, 2015
Beijing workers have longest daily commute in China at 52 minutes each way.

Eurativ, January 27th, 2015
EU paper calls for binding CCS targets by 2030.

The News, January 23rd, 2015
China's smog provides cover for burglar in novel by environment official.

Nature, January 21st, 2015
Policy: Four gaps in China's new environmental law.

The Guardian, January 20th, 2015
Beijing's smog is increasingly toxic for China's politicians.

Global Times, January 19th, 2015New law allows NGOs to pursue legal action against environmental offenders.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

660 Million Indians Loosing 3.2 years of Lifespan due to Air Pollution

The study, published Saturday in the Economic And Political Weekly (EPW) says that 660 million people, or over half of India’s population, "live in areas that exceed the Indian National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate pollution. The study, which was conducted by economists from the University of Chicago, Harvard and Yale, further adds that if pollution is reduced in areas where these people live, it could translate into an increase in their average life expectancy of over three years. "Reducing pollution in these areas to achieve the standard would, we estimate, increase life expectancy for these Indians by 3.2 years on average for a total of 2.1 billion life years,” the study notes.

How bad is the outdoor air quality in India?

Global Burden of Disease in India

This finding is significant as India is a labor intensive economy and has been struggling to increase its life expectancy, which is a key socio-economic indicator of development. The Indian government’s latest health statistics reveal that in the last decade, life expectancy has gone up by five years. While an Indian man is expected to live for 67.3 years on an average, a woman is expected to live for 69.6 years. Analyzing data from India’s Central Pollution Control Board, the EPW study found that in 2010, air quality in a staggering 77 percent of the country’s urban areas was worse than the norms prescribed under its air quality standards.

Read more @ International Business Times

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Road Users Suffering the Most in Delhi

A CSE study found that pedestrians and people riding public transport and auto-rickshaws are exposed to dangerously high air pollution levels—which are much higher than those recorded by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee's stationary monitoring stations at the same locations. The aim of the study is to drive home the point that air pollution in Delhi is alarming and should not be overlooked by the new government, said CSE researchers. Read more @ Times of India

"Delhi government should increase cess on diesel cars. Brazil and Beijing do not allow diesel cars. Sri Lanka has imposed very high taxes on import of diesel cars. France has decided to phase out diesel cars completely. Why can't Delhi discourage diesel cars?" Narain said. CSE researchers stressed that linking PUC compliance to issuance of car insurance can help enforce pollution under control norms. Narain also clarified her stand on certain contentious issues. Parking space for buses is a must, she said. "DDA has space for malls and amusement parks but not buses. I think the Millennium Bus Depot should stay. It is the least of the problems for the river," said Narain, adding that she even thought of recommending space in Rashtrapati Bhavan and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for bus depots.

A key solution CSE recommended is to treat NCR like a single 'air-shed' and formulate policies for the entire region as pollution from neighbouring towns is affecting Delhi. She opposed the new government's announcement of bidding for a coal block and setting up a thermal power station, saying gas power stations in Delhi should be supplied fuel first. "They should negotiate for reasonable gas rates and get the power stations running," she said.

Where is the Real Time Monitoring Data in India?

A committee of scientists and air quality experts who have developed an air quality index (AQI) for Central Pollution Control Board are in a dilemma about what advisory the government should issue when there is "hazardous or severe" air quality in a city. Other objections that air quality experts have are that CPCB does not have reliable, real-time air quality data. There is real time monitoring only in 16 cities. Also, former Central Pollution Control Board officials said the data is not calibrated or certified which is why it is "unreliable." "How can the automatic monitoring stations and manual stations have such a huge difference in readings? Where is the real-time data uploaded?"

Read more @ Times of India


Punjab to Upgrade Brick Kiln Technology for Lesser Pollution

Punjab Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has planned to upgrade brick kilns’ technology to minimize air pollution caused by brick kilns. The decision was taken in a meeting held under EPD Secretary Dr Iqbal on Thursday. Director General (DG), EPA, Farooq Hameed Sheikh, Nasim-ur-Rehman, Director, EPA, Dr Arifa Lodhi from SUPARCO, Dr AR Saleemi, member Punjab Environmental Tribunal, Dr Asim Mehmood, Environmentalist Expert, representative of Civil Aviation Authority and Muhammad Shoaib Khan Niazi, Chairman Brick Kiln Association along with his delegation attended the meeting. Secretary, EPD, Dr Iqbal said brick kilns emission could be reduced by upgrading technology and adopting effective emission-control measures. He said these measures will also reduce fuel consumption and production cost.

Read more @ CustomsToday

Fireoworks Led to 25 times the Normal Pollution Levels in Beijing

Fireworks set off during Chinese New Year celebrations on Thursday increased Beijing's air pollution index and the concentration of PM2.5 - considered to be extremely harmful to health - multiplied 25 times in a matter of seven hours, U.S. diplomatic authorities said. To welcome the Year of the Goat and bid adieu to the Year of the Horse, Beijing residents exploded firecrackers, which according to Chinese tradition, is said to keep bad luck away. As a result, the concentration of PM2.5 levels rose from 16 micrograms per cubic meter at 6 p.m. local time Wednesday to 407 micrograms per cubic meter at 1 a.m. Thursday in Beijing, the U.S. embassy in China said on its Twitter account.PM2.5 particles, with a diameter smaller than 2.5 microns (1,000 times smaller than 2.5 millimeters) are considered to be extremely harmful as they can directly enter the lungs.

10 Billion Yuan earmarked to Fight Air Pollution in China

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended level for PM2.5 is no more than 25 micrograms per cubic meter within the 24-hour time frame. Beijing woke up Thursday to thick smog covering the skies, which seemed to undo the recent drop in air pollution caused by closing of factories and lesser traffic on the roads during the holiday. Firecrackers and fireworks displays lit up the occasion, despite restrictive measures adopted by the Chinese authorities.

A total of 138 cities adopted prohibitory measures and another 536 restricted firecrackers in order to have clearer skies during the festive season, according to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. During recent weeks, the authorities also made several appeals to the people to limit the use of firecrackers, keeping in mind their effects on air quality. Forecasts of less wind in several regions of the country, especially in the center, coupled with the incessant use of firecrackers, are expected to aggravate the concentration of pollutants in the sky even further.

US Embassies Monitoring Air Quality in Multiple Countries

In 2008, American diplomats in Beijing quietly installed an electronic monitor outside the U.S. Embassy to test pollution levels in the Chinese capital’s famously sooty air. The results, posted daily on the Internet, were mainly intended for U.S citizens and visitors, but soon ordinary Chinese were logging in for reliable information about health threats in the air they breathed. Chinese officials complained, but the daily reports from the embassy’s monitor added to the pressure that eventually led China to take dramatic steps to reduce smog. It worked so well, in fact, that the Obama administration has now decided on a major expansion — to U.S. diplomatic missions all around the world.

In a joint announcement on Wednesday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled plans to place air-quality monitors outside embassies in numerous foreign cities, starting with diplomatic posts in India and then moving to Vietnam, Mongolia and other countries.

Read more @ Washington Post

Friday, February 20, 2015

Agencies Refusing to Share Monitoring Data in Delhi

In the absence of an integrated approach to deal with Delhi’s air pollution, the issue has created a lot of hot air but almost no action. The reason is simple; lack of political will as cleaning the air would mean some harsh measures. But time has come to enforce them or else living in national capital will become a health hazard. The city does not have traffic and industry management plan for high pollution days like many other cities across the world, including Beijing. The government authorities don’t even issue advisories to people despite the city having over 26 real time monitoring stations — highest for any metro in the country — and Delhi’s particulate matter (PM) pollution this winter has been worst since 2000.

Real time AQI in Delhi

The plan to issue an advisory about worst polluted areas was initiated during Commonwealth Games 2010 but it had remained on paper. A senior environment ministry official blamed monitoring agencies working in silos for the failure. “One agency was not willing to share its data with another,” he said. Since September 2013, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee having six real-time air pollution monitoring stations has not shared its pollution data with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), mandated to issue the advisory. Parallel to this, the Ministry of Earth Sciences also set up its own 10 pollution monitoring stations in the capital during the games but refused to collaborate with CPCB or DPCC.

Read more @ Hindustan Times

“You need will and it can happen,” Anumita Roy Chaudhary of Centre for Science and Environment said, recalling how Supreme Court pushed Delhi government in 2000 to introduce Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as alternate fuel and Delhi’s pollution dipped by almost 50% in a few years. This time the measures needed may be harsher as PM 2.5 microns that enter deep inside one’s lungs and can trigger heart attack was 20 times higher than the safe level prescribed by the government in Delhi.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Capping Coal in China Will Drop Carbon and Particulate Pollution

China's power sector accounts for almost a quarter of the world's total coal consumption, or as much as all the OECD countries consume together. Controlling China's coal consumption - as Beijing has vowed in its most recent Energy Development Strategy Action Plan - requires the power sector to take significant measures to optimize its energy sources, using less dirty coal and more clean alternatives. Conducted as part of NRDC's China coal cap project, a new study by North China Electric Power University led by Assistant Professor Yuan Jiahai, lays out a pathway for capping coal consumption in which China's power sector can not only reduce its emission of dust, SO2, NOx, and other air pollutants but, more critically, contribute to economic and social gains through decreased coal power investments and fuel costs and increased health benefits.

Such a pathway adopts aggressive targets in energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment and integration, as well as end-of-pipe pollution control measures. For end-use energy efficiency, the study calculated the energy saving potential of using more efficient lighting, generators, transformers, speed governors, home appliances, and ground source heat pumps at a total of 701 TWh in 2020 - an amount that would take the Three Gorges Dam over seven years to generate - and even larger in the future.

When existing air pollution control regulations are effectively implemented - no new regulations required - such a coal cap scenario can significantly reduce dust, SO2, and NOx emitted by the country's coal-fired power fleet (see graph below). Furthermore, the coal cap scenario also projects lower CO2 emissions from the power sector (nearly 900 million tons lower compared to the reference scenario peak), and lower stress on water resources in China's coal-producing western regions: compared with the reference scenario, water consumption of six major western coal bases in the coal cap scenario is 57 million tons less in 2020, and 606 million tons less in 2030.

More @ Energy Collective

57% of Carbon Pollution in Hyderabad Comes from Vehicle Pollution

A recent report that conferred upon Hyderabad the dubious distinction of recording the highest level of vehicular pollution in the country has left city environmentalists alarmed. The study, conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore, stated that the contribution of vehicular pollution to the city's carbon content is over 57% -- higher than the percentage registered in other major cities as Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai. This, despite Hyderabad having a significantly lower number of vehicles compared to the other metro cities. Experts have squarely blamed the Pollution Control Board (PCB) for failing to nip the problem in the bud. They rue how the department, despite being aware of widespread use of adulterated fuel and the presence of a large number of old vehicles on the roads, conducts no checks to punish offenders.

"We don't need a report to tell us that vehicular pollution has increased in the city. It is evident in our daily lives. What is terrifying is that the authorities refuse to act on these long-standing issues," lamented M Padmanabha Reddy, a retired Indian Forest Service officer, deploring the PCB's lackadaisical approach to such serious issues. PCB officials, however, refused to take responsibility. In fact, its officials conveniently blamed the ongoing Metro rail project work for rising air pollution. Tired of this blame-game, environmentalists are now advocating the need for increased green cover.

Read more @ Times of India

Monday, February 16, 2015

Delhi’s Air Is Often More Polluted Than Beijing’s

The levels of harmful fine particulate matter, called PM2.5, are significantly higher in Delhi during the winter months than they are in Beijing. Over the past two years, average concentrations in Delhi have been about 45 percent higher.  

Beijing has more than 30 government monitors tracking its air quality, although the historical data is not widely available. Delhi has just four, in addition to one at the U.S. embassy. “Delhi doesn’t have nearly enough, said Joshua Apte, an assistant professor at the University Texas at Austin, “and it’s still the best off in the country.”

Read more @ New York Times

More on Air Pollution in Delhi (in this blog)  

Report and papers on air pollution in Delhi (from Urban Emissions)

Friday, February 06, 2015

Evolution of On-road Vehicle Exhaust Emissions in Delhi - A Study from 1990 to 2030

For a 40-year horizon (1990–2030), on-road vehicle exhaust emissions were evaluated, retrospectively and prospectively, for the largest urban agglomeration in India – the Greater Delhi region with a combined population of 22 million in 2011 (Delhi along with Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon). Emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) reached their peak during late 1990s through early 2000s after which they reduced significantly through year 2012. On the other hand, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide show an increasing trend.

Access to the full report @ Atmospheric Environment

On-road Vehicle Exhaust Emissions in Delhi 1990 to 2030

The most reduction in emissions between 1998 and 2012 occurred as a result of implementation of four sets of vehicular emission standards, removal of lead, reduction of sulfur content, mandatory retirement of older commercial vehicles, and conversion of diesel and petrol run public transport vehicles to compressed natural gas. In addition, changes in the vehicular technology have also contributed to controlling emissions especially in case of auto-rickshaws and motorized two-wheelers, which changed from two-stroke to four-stroke.

The rising trend of NOx along with the presence of VOCs indicates increasing tendency to form ground-level ozone and as a result, smog in the region. We predict that the current regime of vehicle technology, fuel standards, and high growth rate of private vehicles, is likely to nullify all the past emission reductions by the end of 2020s.

Supplementary Material

Air Pollution Linked to 553 Annual Deaths Across Northern Ireland

A Belfast medical expert has called on health organisations to phase out their investment in the fossil fuel industry as it emerged that such air pollution is also said to be responsible for more than 140 deaths across the city. Dr Gary McFarlane, director of the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health, joined medical experts from across the UK in calling on health organisations to divest in the industry, as they have already done with tobacco.

Dr McFarlane said: "The science is telling us very clearly that continued reliance on fossil fuels is not only unsustainable but will have significant health implications across the globe.

Read more @ Belfast Telegraph

Shanghai to Spend US$16 billion on Anti-Pollution Campaign

SHANGHAI will spend 100 billion yuan (US$16.13 billion) in the next three years on more than 200 projects in an effort to rid the city of pollution, authorities said yesterday. The funds will be spent on 220 projects in eight areas of concern, namely, water, air, soil, waste, industry, agriculture, ecology and circular economy, said Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. The major concerns are serious nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in water, high level of PM2.5 pollutant particles in the air, chemical and oil fumes from restaurants, Zhang said.

Article @ Shanghai Daily

The aim is to significantly cut the number of heavy pollution days and reduce the PM2.5 density to 48 micrograms per cubic meter by the end of 2017. The World Health Organization says a “safe” PM2.5 concentration is 25. The city’s overall air quality improved last year from 2013 thanks to the absence of extreme weather and putting in place anti-air pollution measures like the use of cleaner energy sources. The average PM2.5 density was 52 last year, down 16.1 percent from 2013.
Also on the agenda are 17 sewage treatment plans. The Bailonggang factory will be renovated, and three sewage treatment factories will be constructed in areas such as Nanxiang and Hongqiao.

By 2017, all big and medium restaurants will be installed with highly efficient oil smoke purifying facilities, and about 300,000 heavily polluting vehicles will be eliminated from the street. A total of 171,600 heavily polluting vehicles were eliminated from the city roads last year. This year, more than 90,000 polluting vehicles will be eliminated while 1,100 boilers at small and medium plants will be replaced. Over the past three years, the discharge of four major pollutants — chemical oxygen, ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide had also dropped substantially, Zhang said. Enterprises were fined more than 100 million yuan last year for breaking the city’s air pollution regulations. Some 3,180 hectares of green space have been added in the past three years with the total forest coverage touching 14 percent at the end of last year. About 2.8 million households had been included in the garbage sorting plan.

Its per capita garbage treatment volume of household garbage was 0.66 kilograms daily last year, compared with 0.82 kilograms per day in 2010, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau. But the awareness of garbage sorting among the public was still weak.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Why is India so Hungry for Coal (CNN)

Holding onto the rails of a cage, we descend lower and lower into the coal mine. It is pitch dark, hot and humid. Every now and then a spray of water drizzles on us. The two-minute ride down seems much longer than that. Once we reach the bottom of the shaft, we begin a 3.5 kilometer walk underground to the site where miners are excavating coal. For almost an hour, we trudge through the slush, the light from our safety helmets the only illumination underground. Our protective clothes and faces quickly develop a black layer of coal dust. Coal is a polluting fossil fuel, which currently powers more than 60% of India. The government produced 462 million tonnes of it last year and is targeting a billion tonnes by 2019. Typically, the coal that burns in power plants across India is of poor quality, therefore more harmful. India is already the world's third highest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Health Impacts of India's Coal Expansion through 2030

So why is India so hungry for coal? Read more @ CNN

US Embassy in Delhi Bought 1800 Air Purifiers in January

Prior to the recent visit of US President Barrack Obama, the American embassy in Delhi purchased over 1,800 high-performance portable Blueair indoor air purifiers to protect employees at the embassy and other locations. In the national capital, the US Embassy, which monitors air quality around the embassy buildings and issues daily updates, became so concerned about the high levels of air pollution that it ordered  a large number of indoor air purifiers from Blueair and handed these over to its staff. Article @ Financial Express

Air Quality Report

Commenting on the decision by the US Embassy to buy such a large number of Blueair indoor air purifiers, the company’s founder and CEO Bengt Rittri, said: “The order confirms Blueair’s position as the ‘air purifier of choice’ when it comes to protecting U.S. government employees and their families from health and wellbeing threats posed by polluted indoor air”. On Tuesday this week, the American embassy’s monitoring station recorded an Air Quality Index reading of 222, a level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes as ‘very unhealthy’. The EPA says such air pollution levels can cause “significant aggravation of heart or lung disease and… a significant increase in respiratory effects in the general population.”

A vast array of international institutions, government agencies and corporations already use Blueair air purifiers, which are equipped with a Smokestop filter as “the best at cleaning air as quickly as possible” after an exhaustive, independent test of top air purifiers models. “Blueair air purifier’s may also help protect users against virus’s such as H1N1 (Swine Flu) because they are designed to trap polluting airborne particles such as PM2.5 dust, viruses, bacteria, asthma triggers and other contaminants such as VOC’s,” says Vijay Kannan, head of Blueair India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sweden’s Blueair AB. He noted that Sweden’s Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SIIDC) has used Blueair air purifiers for many years to protect their staff from harmful airborne particles.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Average Work Travel Burden in Beijing = 52 minutes per day

More than three million people from more than 300 cities took part in the project launched by Baidu, the country's largest internet search company, the CNS report said. The method was simple. Commuting smartphone users marked the location of their home and workplace in Baidu's map service app, and the commuting distance and time was automatically calculated and uploaded to a cloud server. Read more @ SCMP

Car Ownership in China @ 154 Million in 2014

Beijing added a record 17 million new cars on the road in 2014 as car ownership reaches 154 million, said the Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday. Strong demand for cars has helped the automobile replace the motorcycle as the main method of transportation. Cars made up 58.6 percent of total motor vehicles, a sharp rise from 43.9 percent five years ago. The number of people obtaining driving licenses also ballooned from 219 million in 2013 to 247 million as of the end of 2014, said the ministry, adding 29.7 million drivers have fewer than one year's driving experience. More @ China Daily

Air Quality in Beijing

Of the 35 cities which have more than one million cars each, ten have more than two million cars, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing. The ministry said the number of passenger cars has reached 117 million, 90 percent of which are private cars. Beijing has the highest private car penetration, with 63 private cars for every 100 households, while the average is 25 private cars for every 100 households.

Carmakers have enjoyed strong sales over the years, with more middle-class customers placing orders for their first cars. But with frequent traffic jams, it is yet to be seen whether cars can still ride the booming tide in the years to come. More local governments have begun to limit car use, among them eight cities have quotas for new car plates.