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Topic : State of Global Air Report 2024
GS-3 Mains  :Environment
Revision Notes

Air Pollution – A Global Threat

  • 8.1 million deaths globally attributed to air pollution in 2021 (Source: State of Global Air Report 2024).
  • PM2.5 pollution responsible for over 90% of these deaths (7.8 million).
  • Air pollution: Second leading risk factor for death globally, after high blood pressure.
  • 99% of the world’s population breathes unhealthy levels of PM2.5.

India’s Struggles

  • India & China: Account for over half (54%) of global air pollution deaths (2.3 & 2.1 million respectively).
  • Air pollution: Leading risk factor for death among children under 5 in India (after malnutrition).
  • High ozone exposure: Another concern for Indians, linked to respiratory problems.

Understanding Air Pollution

  • Air pollution occurs when harmful substances like particles, gases, or matter contaminate the air.
  • Common pollutants include PM2.5, NO2, SO2, O3, CO, VOCs, and Lead.
  • Sources: Natural (volcanoes, wildfires) and human activities (industry, transport, agriculture).
  • Health concerns: Respiratory issues, heart problems, reduced lung function.
  • Environmental impacts: Ecosystem damage, biodiversity loss, water pollution, climate change, crop damage.
  • Economic burden: Increased healthcare costs due to pollution-related illnesses.

Government Initiatives in India

  • National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) (2019): Aims to reduce air pollution in targeted cities and regions. Strategies include improved monitoring, stricter emission standards, and public awareness.
  • Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) Emission Standards (2020): Mandate cleaner fuel and advanced emission control technologies for vehicles nationwide.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY): Promotes clean cooking fuel (LPG) to replace polluting biomass methods.
  • FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) Scheme: Offers incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce emissions.
  • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA): Promotes sustainable building practices and energy-efficient technologies.
  • Waste Management Programs: Initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan address solid waste and promote cleaner disposal methods, reducing air pollution from waste burning.
  • Commission for Air Quality Management (NCR & Adjoining Areas): Improves coordination, research, and problem-solving related to air quality in the National Capital Region.

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