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World Air Quality Report 2018

Topics Covered:

  1. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


World Air Quality Report 2018


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Highlights of the report.
  • For Mains: Concerns for India, what needs to be done?


Context: IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace have released World Air Quality Report 2018.

  • The main objective behind the report was to measure the presence of fine particulate matter known as Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5, which has been recorded in real-time in 2018.


Highlights of the report:

  • The report, based on a study of 3000 cities, said that 64 percent of the cities exceeded the World Health Organisation’s annual exposure guideline for PM 2.5. In South Asia itself, 99 percent of the cities exceeded the WHO’s safe standard exposure of 10 micrograms/cubic metre annually.
  • Of the 10 cities with highest pollution, seven are in India, while one is in China and two are in Pakistan.
  • India’s Gurugram led the list of most polluted cities in the world in 2018, followed by Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.
  • Delhi was ranked at number 11 on the pollution chart.
  • Among the top 30 most polluted cities, India makes up for 22 with five in China, two in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh.
  • The only non-Indian city in the top five list is Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  • Delhi was ranked as the most polluted capital in the world, with Dhaka at second and Kabul at third position.
  • China made a remarkable improvement since 2013 as the country’s pollution levels have gone down by 40 percent. In 2013, Beijing topped the pollution charts. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world in 2018.
  • In South Asia, out of 20 most polluted cities in the world, 18 are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • In Southeast Asia, Jakarta and Hanoi are the most polluted cities.


Measures to improve air quality:

As suggested by Greenpeace, following measures can be employed to fight air pollution in the country:

  • Improving public transport.
  • Limiting the number of polluting vehicles on the road.
  • Introducing less polluting fuel (Bharat VI).
  • Strict emission regulations.
  • Improved efficiency for thermal power plants and industries.
  • Moving from diesel generators to rooftop solar.
  • Increased use of clean renewable energy.
  • Electric vehicles.
  • Removing dust from roads.
  • Regulating construction activities.
  • Stopping biomass burning, etc.


Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: Air Pollution in India can no longer be tackled with short term, reactive solutions. Critically analyze.