Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Air Pollution News & Alerts - June 30th, 2015

The National UAE, June 29th, 2015
UAE air pollution levels safe for residents.

Counter Currents, June 28th, 2015
India Is Now World’s Fastest-Growing Major Polluter.

Sunday Times, June 28th, 2015
Schools shut under a cloud of diesel.

Business Standard, June 27th, 2015
India is now world's fastest-growing major polluter.

International Business Times, June 27th, 2015
World's most polluted city Delhi now shows dangerous levels of ultra-fine particles.

The Lancet, June 27th, 2015
Reduce short-lived climate pollutants for multiple benefits.

Times of India, June 26th, 2015
Delhi budget: Diesel goods vehicles will pay for air pollution.

The Beijing, June 26th, 2015
License plate lottery starts for eletric vehicles.

China Daily, June 25th, 2015
Offshore pollution remains serious.

China Daily, June 25th, 2015
Greenhouse-cuts bill 'could reach 41 trillion.

ECNS, June 25th, 2015
Nation first in new renewable power installations.

ECNS, June 25th, 2015
Lawmakers mull stricter air pollution control law.

The Hindu, June 25th, 2015
Rise in cars adds to pollution.

Business Green, June 25th, 2015
Transport Minister: EVs can help solve air pollution.

The Guardian, June 25th, 2015
French banks say no to Bangladesh coal plant.

India Talks, June 25th, 2015
Pakistan Minister Blames India for Deadly Heatwave in Karachi.

Times of India, June 25th, 2015
Bittu demands CNG for Punjab.

Business Insider, June 25th, 2015
Poor Infant Mortality Rate blots Delhi.

Fox Business, June 24th, 2015
House GOP bill targets Obama plan to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Financial Express, June 24th, 2015
Economic Survey of Delhi 2014-15: Outdoor air quality declines.

Times of India, June 24th, 2015
Air quality of Allahabad’s green belt worsens, health problems on rise.

Indian Express, June 24th, 2015
Capital's Air Quality Has Deteriorated: Delhi Economic Survey.

Global Times, June 24th, 2015
Heavy air pollution in Beijing to continue.

The Guardian, June 24th, 2015
Child health fears at the most polluted spot in the world's most polluted city.

The Guardian, June 24th, 2015
Air pollution: Delhi is dirty, but how do other cities fare?

Times of India, June 23rd, 2015
Draft emission rules allow new coal plants to pollute.

International Business Times, June 23rd, 2015
Santiago Smog: Chile Declares Environmental Emergency Over Air Pollution.

Climate Progress, June 23rd, 2015
Why Researchers Are Sounding The Alarm About Climate Change’s Health Impacts.

The Carbon Brief, June 23rd, 2015
Tackling climate change will reap benefits for human health.

Asia One, June 23rd, 2015
China's air is much worse than India's, World Bank report.

Beijinger, June 23rd, 2015
Ozone is Beijing's New Pollution Threat.

Hindustan Times, June 22nd, 2015
Despite being less polluted than Delhi, Paris fighting it better.

Economic Times, June 22nd, 2015
Planned in phases: Paris shows way to clean air.

Times of India, June 21st, 2015
Delhi focus won’t work, pollution pervasive.

The Guardian, June 21st, 2015
All choked up: did Britain's dirty air make me dangerously ill?

Times of India, June 20th, 2015
1st steps within 3 months, longer strategy by July.

NDTV, June 20th, 2015
Meet the Man Who Planted an Entire Forest to Curb Pollution.

Scroll.in, June 20th, 2015
Why Indian rules to curb coal pollution will not work.

The Grist, June 20th, 2015
Air pollution in China and India may be worse than we realize.

NPR, June 19th, 2015
Pope Makes Climate Change An Issue For GOP Presidential Candidates.

NPR, June 19th, 2015
Proposed Oil Refinery Could Help Washington State Meet Clean Fuel Standards.

Science Daily, June 19th, 2015
Climate change won’t reduce winter deaths.

Times of India, June 19th, 2015
The choice is ours: Delhi can clean its air by switching to cleaner fuels.

Economic Times, June 19th, 2015
The dream of a clean Delhi with cleaner fuels.

Energy Central, June 19th, 2015
Coal: from deficit to surplus?

China Dialogues, May 18th, 2015
Chinese designers create smog warning posters.

Economic Times, June 18th, 2015
German embassy cuts staff tenure in Delhi on pollution concerns.

The Guardian, June 18th, 2015
Catch them if you can: the pragmatic ways to cut carbon emissions.

The Guardian, June 18th, 2015
Pope's climate change encyclical tells rich nations: pay your debt to the poor.

The NY Times, June 18th, 2015
Proposed Rule for Big Trucks Aims at Cutting Fuel Emissions.

NY Times, June 17th, 2015
Why Jeb Bush and Other Republicans Are Wrong to Chide Pope Francis for Taking a Climate Stand.

The City Fix, June 17th, 2015
The First “Urban Pope”.

The City Fix, June 17th, 2015
Suburbia Goes Global: What It Means for Urban Sustainability.

Global Times, June 17th, 2015
Beijing, neighbors to draft regional air pollution treatment plan.

The Real News, June 16th, 2015
Children of Smog in Delhi.

NDTV, June 16th, 2015
Experts to Chalk Out Plan to Tackle Rising Pollution in Delhi.

World Bank, June 16th, 2015
New Little Green Data Book Paints Striking Picture of Pollution.

Xinhua Net, June 16th, 2015
Global energy-related emissions could peak by 2020 at no net cost: IEA.

Beijing News, June 16th, 2015
Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei to set air pollution roadmap.

ECNS, June 15th, 2015
Chinese stick with cars despite pollution concerns.

Science Daily, June 15th, 2015
Environmental activism works.

Science Daily, June 15th, 2015
New calculations to improve carbon dioxide monitoring from space.

Indian Express, June 13th, 2015
Dust storm, rain cool city, pollution rises on smog cover.

Times of India, June 13th, 2015
Dust storm, rain hit Delhi; bring relief from heat.

India Outlook, June 12th, 2015
Delhi 'Metro Model' to Inspire New Solid Waste Management Rules.

Hindustan Times, June 12th, 2015
New guidelines in Delhi to curb construction pollution.

The Guardian, June 12th, 2015
OECD talks to phase out coal subsidies end in stalemate.

The Guardian, June 12th, 2015
Pakistan: 'son, you brought electricity to the village and added 15 years to my life'.

World Coal, June 12th, 2015
Modi's Power Plant.

Deccan Chronicle, June 11th, 2015
B'luru air 200 pc more polluted than national quality standard.

Law Street, June 11th, 2015
Power Plants and Carbon Pollution: What Can the EPA Do?

CIO, June 11th, 2015
Microsoft predicts China's air pollution with data analysis.

World Coal, June 10th, 2015
India a hotspot for new coal power development.

City of Beijing, June 10th, 2015
Beijing mayor promises clean air on Winter Games.

Xinhua net, June 10th, 2015
China releases draft environment tax law.

NPR, June 10th, 2015
EPA Takes First Step In Limiting Aircraft Emissions.

Hindustan Times, June 10th, 2015
We have to move people rather than vehicles.

Hindustan Times, June 10th, 2015
Pollution body CPCB in monitoring mess.

Hindustan Times, June 8th, 2015
If Beijing can clean its air, Delhi can be healthier too.

Yahoo News, June 8th, 2015
Beijing struggles to cut smog with wide-ranging restrictions.

Hindustan Times, June 8th, 2015
Political will needed to clean capital's toxic air.

World Coal, June 8th, 2015
Dry monsoon will increase demands on coal power.

Captain, June 8th, 2015
China Targets Ship Emissions in War On Pollution.

National Multimedia, June 7th, 2015
Coal power plants proceed despite local opposition.

Business Standard, June 7th, 2015
Sufficient coal stock at power plants: NTPC.

New York Times, June 7th, 2015
Coal in Poland Lowering Life Spans.

Economic Times, June 7th, 2015
Air pollution: Why a clutch of expats in Delhi are moving back home.

Times of India, June 6th, 2015
Act on Delhi's foul air - now.

Hindustan Times, June 6th, 2015
Toxic zone: In pollution capital Delhi, these localities are the worst.

Financial Express, June 6th, 2015
Air pollution: Aam Aadmi Party govt set to crack whip against offenders.

Times of India, June 6th, 2015
Where the air is not pure: Pollution level remains high.

IBN Live, June 6th, 2015
Delhi's air pollution dilemma: Actions can solve the problem, not complaints.

Deccan Chronicle, June 6th, 2015
Unburnt gases add to pollution woes in City.

Mother Jones, June 5th, 2015
China, Coal. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Indian Express, June 5th, 2015
Traffic police in Delhi get masks to beat dust.

Hindustan Times, June 5th, 2015
World Environment Day: At high risk, kids avoid playing out.

Business Standard, June 5th, 2015
Haryana govt asks builders not to cause air pollution.

IEA, June 5th, 2015
Can microalgae be used to remove CO2 from the flue gas of coal-fired power plant?

Times of India, June 4th, 2015
Hyderabad air not fit for inhaling.

Science Daily, June 4th, 2015
Stricter limits for ozone pollution would boost need for science, measurements.

Hindustan Times, June 4th, 2015
Delhi's air, the dirtiest in world, destroying lungs of its own children.

National Catholic Report, June 4th, 2015
All children deserve a healthy climate.

Hindustan Times, June 4th, 2015
Not just pollution: NYT journo was fleeing a reeking, stinking country.

Financial Express, June 4th, 2015
CSE says no one including Arvind Kejriwal is safe from deadly ozone pollution.

Spectator, June 4th, 2015
Slovak air quality among worst in Europe.

Hindustan Times, June 4th, 2015
Deadly air: 40% children in Delhi have weak lungs, finds survey of four cities.

Financial Express, June 3rd, 2015
Air pollution in Delhi: Expert suggests measure to reduce air toxicity over Delhi.

Green Car Report, June 3rd, 2015
China's Air Pollution Is Bad, But India's Is Far, Far Worse.

Times of India, June 3rd, 2015
Foul air hems in people with breathing problems.

Money Control, June 3rd, 2015
Smart cities need smart transport solutions.

Economic Times, June 2nd, 2015
Air pollution is world’s top environmental health risk.

India Today, June 2nd, 2015
Taj Mahal threatened by pollution.

First Post, June 1st, 2015
NYT writer is absolutely right: Delhi is literally a shithole; but so is all of India.

Hindustan Times, June 1st, 2015
'Delhi is unlivable': NYT reporter has every reason to abandon city.

The News Wheel, June 1st, 2015
No Parking Space, No Car; Beijing Considers New Car-Buying Policy.

All Africa, June 1st, 2015
Nigeria: Health Assembly Passes Landmark Resolution On Air Pollution.

World Economic Forum, June 1st, 2015
Which city has the world’s worst traffic jams?

Business Standard, June 1st, 2015
Siam demands independent study on Delhi air pollution.

Business Standard, June 1st, 2015
Coal kills Indians. Can the sun power the country?

Sunday Times, June 1st, 2015
Diesel pollution in cities raises risk of stroke.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Shame - Delhi Govt. Sitting on INR385 crore (~64 million USD) for War on Air Pollution Since 2007, with 87% Unused

The Delhi government, in the last seven years, collected Rs 385 crore to fund its war on air pollution, but around 87% of this money has remained unspent, a planning department report has said. Read more @ India Today

Successive Delhi governments have not been serious about improving the notoriously bad quality of air that people breathe in the national capital. As pollution gradually peaked to alarming levels, governments sat on special 'air quality' funds, official documents accessed by Mail Today reveal.

The Delhi government, in the last seven years, collected Rs 385 crore to fund its war on air pollution, but around 87% of this money has remained unspent, a planning department report has said. These seven years include mostly Congress rule, besides a year of President's rule, and two brief stints of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

This, when air pollution has in the last 14 years doubled in the capital, the report says. The quantum of particulate matter 10 (particles smaller than 10 microns in diameter that lodge deep in lungs and blood cells) has gone up from 150 microgram per cubic meter in 2001 to 318 in 2014.

AAP, meanwhile, defended itself. "The blame for non-utilisation of the fund collected to fight air pollution lies with the previous Congress government. We would see how best we can use this resource. We have commissioned a study to IIT-Kanpur to draw-up a plan to improve Delhi's air quality which has found the world's worst by a WHO study," said a senior government official.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Delhi's Foul Air (The Guardian)

'My children are suffering but what can I do?' A family living in the middle of an eight-lane motorway, an autorickshaw driver struggling to breathe, a young woman who can’t wait to leave ... the foul air of India’s capital affects all sections of society

Read more @ The Guardian - Commentary by Beth Gardiner


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Infographic on Ground Level Ozone Pollution

The story of air pollution does not end with PM2.5 - Ozone is created when oxides and nitrogen compounds come into contact with sunlight and is the new source of health impacts in urban areas. Many of the same groups that are sensitive to other kinds of air pollution will have trouble with higher levels of ozone, namely people who already have respiratory problems, babies, senior citizens, and people who work outdoors. Unlike PM 2.5 pollution, masks and air purifiers don't help the situation. Instead, the best measure is avoid strenuous physical activity during strong summer sunlight. More @ theBeijinger


Monday, June 22, 2015

Smog Posters from China

More @ China Dialogue. An exhibition of smog-inspired posters is touring the polluted cities of northern and eastern China this month to draw attention to the impending environmental disaster. Created by a group of Chinese designers, the 300 posters depict the terrifying face of smog to show how pollution changes our lives - and even our genes: One image shows a baby with a birthmark in the shape of a mask over his face. The posters have resonated with people in China and elsewhere. A Mr Wang, who has taken his family to live abroad, said on WeChat that “although we’re not in China, our compatriots back home suffering, and that makes every Chinese person sad.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Delhi’s Clean Air Challenge - Slow Murder (CSE Bulletin)

Eitorial by Sunita Narain

It is good that deadly air pollution in Delhi has become national headline. But it is bad that we are failing to deal with it and find answers that are commensurate with the scale of the problem. It is time to understand what we have done and the actions we need to take urgently and decisively. Otherwise, next winter—barely five months away—will be even more severe and hazardous. While foreigners can choose not to live in polluted Delhi, most of us do not have that option. Let’s also be clear that home air purifiers and filters are not the solution even if the rich in the city believe that they can shut their houses and clean their own private air.

Some 16 years ago, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) issued an advertisement: “Roll down the window of your bullet-proof car, Mr Prime Minister. The security threat is not the gun, it is the air of Delhi.” This was the time when the air of Delhi was full of black smoke, fuel and emission standards were virtually non-existent and motorisation was just beginning to take off. The agenda for action—also listed by CSE in the public notice—was to advance the roadmap for fuel-emission standards; restrict diesel vehicles and make the transition to a much cleaner fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG).

Not anymore. Since 2007 pollution has risen to dangerously toxic levels. This winter, the level of PM 2.5—tiny particles emitted from vehicles that can go deep into the lungs and enter the blood stream—remained three-four times higher than the safety standard. In fact, in November, December and January, air was classified as “severely polluted” for over 65 per cent of the days. According to the government’s own air quality index, this meant pollution was so bad that it could cause “respiratory effects even on healthy people”. It is unsafe to breathe. This is what we must realise.

So, what has happened to make Delhi residents, once again, wheeze, choke and die because of dirty air? In the past decade, since the introduction of CNG, some things have changed. First, there has been an explosion of personal vehicles—near 100 per cent increase in registration in Delhi alone. So, even as each car has become cleaner because of tighter emission standards and better quality of fuel, the number has increased exponentially. The net result on pollution is the same.

Second, while in 2000 diesel cars were only 4 per cent of the total sales, this increased to 50 per cent by mid-2000. Each diesel car is legally allowed to emit four to seven times more than the petrol variant. Pollution is inevitable. Third, the bypass road, ordered by the Supreme Court in 2004, was not built. So, some 50,000 trucks using dirty fuel and even dirtier technology transit the city.

One new source of pollution has made an entry. Post mid-2000, Punjab and Haryana directed farmers to delay paddy transplantation to reduce groundwater usage in peak summer. Now farmers have no time to prepare the field between harvesting paddy and growing wheat, so they burn the straw. In October and November, just as winter inversion is settling in, smoke from this fire makes its way to the already polluted airshed of Delhi.

The country immediately needs an aggressive roadmap for clean fuel and vehicle technology. This is not acceptable to powerful vehicle manufacturers. Even as oil companies have started the supply of cleaner fuel across north India since April 1, 2015, car companies have succeeded in getting an extension for supply of clean vehicles from the surface transport ministry. Now, the same car companies are busy arguing that they should continue to have the licence to pollute. They want 8-10 years to move to the cleaner vehicle technology Europe uses today. These companies need to understand that we have all run out of time and air to breathe.

The other steps are equally urgent, from monitoring air quality to smog alerts, so that we know when it is advisable to take precautions because of bad air. But most critical is the need to massively augment our public transportation systems, from bus and metro to footpaths and cycle tracks, so that we can take a bus and then cross the road or just walk. We also need car restraints. Parking rates and fines for illegal parking need to be increased and then enforced. Today we have a handful of cranes and a sprinkling of traffic police to stop illegal parking. This cannot go on.

In mid-1990s, we published a report on air pollution and called it Slow Murder. That’s what it is—deliberate and deadly. Nothing less.