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State of Global Air-2019 Report

Topics Covered:

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


State of Global Air-2019 Report


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key findings of the report, concerns and measures needed to control air pollution.


Context: Two US based institutes Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) recently released a detailed report on quality of the global air with title, “State of Global Air-2019”.


General observations:

In 2017, exposure to PM 2.5 pollution was found to be the third leading risk factor globally for Type 2 diabetes.

The economic costs of diabetes are substantial — estimated as 1.8% of worldwide gross domestic product in 2015 and pose a growing challenge to health care systems in countries at all levels of development.

  • Type 2 Diabetes represents a substantial, growing, and costly health burden. In 2017, the disease accounted for more than 1 million deaths globally and burdens have increased by 175% and 141%, respectively, since 1990.
  • There is a strong inverse relationship between a country’s level of social and economic development and the PM2.5 exposures experienced by its population; that is, less developed countries suffer PM2.5 exposures that are four to five times those of more-developed countries.
  • In 2017, annual PM2.5 exposures were highest in South Asia, where Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan had the highest exposures. Bhutan’s exposure level was the lowest in the region but was still above WHO’s first interim target.
  • The 10 countries with the lowest national PM2.5 exposure levels were the Maldives, United States, Norway, Estonia, Iceland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Brunei, and Finland.
  • Ozone pollution is a continuing challenge in more developed countries and is increasing in less developed areas, posing new air quality concerns.
  • Air pollution collectively reduced life expectancy by 1 year and 8 months on average worldwide, a global impact rivaling that of smoking. This means a child born today will die 20 months sooner, on average, than would be expected in the absence of air pollution.


Key findings- India specific:

  • India and China are collectively accounted for more than 50% of global 5 million deaths due to air pollution.
  • Major PM2.5 sources in India include household burning of solid fuels; dust from construction, roads, and other activities; industrial and power plant burning of coal; brick production; transportation; and diesel-powered equipment.
  • An estimated 846 million people in India (60% of the population) and 452 million people in China (32% of the population) were exposed to household air pollution in 2017.


What has India done to reduce household emission?

A sweeping government effort seeks to shift more households to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) instead of biomass fuels. While many families can afford subsidized LPG fuel, the fee for installing a household LPG hookup can be prohibitive. The government initiative, known as Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), provided LPG connections to 35 million poor families free of charge between 2016 and early 2018 and aims to provide 80 million connections by 2020.


Sources: the hindu.