India’s emissions of the air pollutant sulphur dioxide increased by 50 per cent since 2007, while China’s fell by 75 per cent, claims a study which found that India is yet to implement emission controls like its neighbour. The study led by researchers at the University of Maryland in the US suggests that India is becoming, if it is not already, the world’s top sulphur dioxide emitter.
- Sulphur dioxide is an air pollutant that causes acid rain, haze and many health-related problems.
- It is mainly produced when coal is burned to generate electricity.
India is ahead of china
- China and India are the world’s top consumers of coal, which typically contains up to three per cent sulphur.
- However, the rapid decrease of sulphur dioxide emissions in China far exceeds expectations and projections. This can be attributed to the emission control measures undertaken by China in the early 2000s.
- While, India is yet to implement emission control measures.
Highlights of the study:
- India’s emissions of the air pollutant sulphur dioxide has increased by 50 per cent since 2007, while China’s fell by 75 per cent.
- Sulphur dioxide levels in China declined significantly, though the coal usage increased by approximately 50 per cent and electricity generation grew by over 100 per cent.
- Despite 75 per cent drop in SO2 emissions, China’s air quality continues to cause significant health problems as SO2 contributes to only about 10-20 per cent of air particles that cause haze.
- By contrast, India’s sulphur dioxide emissions increased by 50 per cent over the past decade as India opened its largest coal-fired power plant in 2012 and has yet to implement emission controls.
- India’s increased sulphur dioxide emissions are not causing as health or haze problems as in China because the largest emission sources are not in the most densely populated area of India.
- However, with the growing demand for electricity in India, the impact may worsen.