India urged to address pollution crisis after cloud of choking smog

Scientists and air pollution experts are urging the Indian Government to address the environmental crisis the country is facing. It comes after capital city New Delhi was blanketed under a […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Scientists and air pollution experts are urging the Indian Government to address the environmental crisis the country is facing.

It comes after capital city New Delhi was blanketed under a cloud of choking smog earlier this month.

In a report by a taskforce of Indian and international experts, including the UN, they recommend the government to prevent agricultural burning by turning crop residue into fuel for electricity generation and provide cleaner fuels and biomass stoves.

They also suggest switching to low sulphur fuel, shifting freight transport from road to lower emission modes of rail and shipping and introducing a new street cleaning programme to limit emissions from road dust.

One of the recommendations the government has implemented is the creation of the National Clean Air Mission to reduce pollution across different sectors.

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment said: “The recent smog crisis in India highlights how important it is to work across borders on an issue like air pollution. Activities in one place can affect the health and well-being of people hundreds of miles away.

“We need an integrated approach, with solutions that provide real benefits for people. Efforts to improve air quality improve the quality of life, protect our climate and supports sustainable development.”