CLEAN AIR STRATEGIES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     15th November 2023        
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Context: Recently, Delhi experienced a setback in air quality as the Air Quality Index (AQI) re-entered the "severe" category in various areas.


Key Point to tackle Air Pollution

  • Emission: limiting emissions from coal-fired power plants, polluting industries and brick kilns as well as limiting wood, cow dung and garbage burning
  • Renewable Power: The shift of many metro systems in India to renewable power is a step forward in the right direction.
  • Electrification: Fuel switching to renewables can both curb pollution and meet climate goals.
  • Airshed Approach: adopting a regional or airshed approach is crucial to address pollution sources and impacts across an entire region rather than individual cities and towns.
  • Waste Management: End-to-End construction and waste management is pivotal to reducing tonnes of dust and waste released in the air and water bodies.
  • Lifestyle: There must be wide-scale citizen mobilization for awareness and education, which can influence lifestyle choices over decades.
  • Funds: The amount of funds needed to implement these coordinated actions and to strengthen the local government’s capacity to deliver them is not trivial.
  • Technology: There is a need to deploy the best science and technology available to establish real-time monitoring systems that can even provide advanced weekly forecasts.

Air Pollution

  • About: Air pollution is the contamination of the atmosphere by harmful substances, such as gases, particulates, and biological molecules, which can cause detrimental effects on human health, ecosystems, and the Earth's climate.

Types of Air Pollutants: Particulate Matter (PM), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3).

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