India’s sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions, which contribute to air air pollution, recorded a major decline of roughly six per cent in 2019 as in comparison with 2018, the steepest dip in 4 years, a report has stated. Nevertheless, India continues to occupy the highest emitter’s place for the fifth consecutive yr, the report primarily based on an evaluation by Greenpeace India and the Centre for Analysis on Vitality and Clear Air (CREA), launched on Tuesday, stated. Sulphur dioxide is a toxic air pollutant that will increase the danger of stroke, coronary heart illness, lung most cancers, and untimely demise.
“In 2019, India emitted 21 per cent of world anthropogenic (human-made) SO2 emissions, practically double that of second-ranked international emitter, Russia.
“China occupies the third place. The annual report ranks the world’s largest emitters of sulphur dioxide,” the report stated.
As per the report, the largest emission hotspots in India are thermal energy stations (or clusters of energy stations) at Singrauli, Neyveli, Sipat, Mundra, Korba, Bonda, Tamnar, Talcher, Jharsuguda, Kutch, Surat, Chennai, Ramagundam, Chandrapur, Visakhapatnam and Koradi.
“Whereas credit score must be given to India for making formidable strides in renewable vitality, contrarily concern arises from the constant assist given to coal-based vitality technology,” it stated.
The report stated India has been faring fairly nicely in its clear vitality transition and has set itself one of many world’s most formidable renewable vitality targets however lack of FGD items in most energy vegetation overshadows it.
“Renewable vitality capability has been growing in India’s energy sector, delivering greater than two-thirds of the subcontinent’s new capability additions throughout the FY 2019-20.
“Nevertheless, these efforts are overshadowed by the truth that many of the energy vegetation in India lack flue-gas desulfurization(FGD) items. The FGD items are important within the technique of lowering emissions,” it stated.
Avinash Chanchal, Local weather Campaigner, Greenpeace India, stated renewable vitality capability could have expanded however the air high quality is much from protected.
“In India, we’re getting a glimpse of how discount in coal utilization can affect air high quality and well being. In 2019, renewable vitality capability expanded, coal dependency decreased and we noticed a corresponding enchancment in air high quality. However our air remains to be removed from protected.
“We should velocity up the vitality transition away from coal and in direction of renewables, for our well being and economic system. Whereas guaranteeing simply transition of vitality, with the assistance of decentralized renewable sources, we have to prioritize entry to electrical energy for the poor,” Chanchal stated.
In 2015, the Ministry of Surroundings, Forest and Local weather Change launched SO2 emission limits for coal energy stations. However energy vegetation missed the preliminary deadline of December 2017 for the set up of FGD items, the report stated.
“Although the deadline was prolonged until 2022, as of June 2020 many of the energy vegetation are working with out compliance to requirements.
“5 years after setting the SO2 emission limits, the Indian authorities has determined to close down non-compliant thermal energy stations and has additionally allotted Rs four,400 crore to deal with the air air pollution disaster,” it stated.
Sunil Dahiya, Analyst, Centre for Analysis on Vitality and Clear Air (CREA), stated, SO2 emissions are affecting the well being of tens of millions of individuals straight and worse by means of changing to PM2.5.
“Essentially the most environment friendly and best approach to scale back PM2.5 ranges is to put in FGD and scale back SO2 emissions from energy vegetation as they kind a major fraction of complete PM2.5 air pollution at totally different areas throughout the nation.
Each single day delay in implementation of prescribed norms and never putting in the FGD system is inflicting large well being and financial injury to our society, it is time the offenders/non-complying energy vegetation are pulled up for inaction and injury to the society to make sure higher implementation shifting forward,” he stated.
It is excessive time that governments scale back investments in fossil fuels and shift to safer vitality sources, reminiscent of wind and photo voltaic, the report stated, including that they need to additionally strengthen emission requirements and successfully implement flue gasoline air pollution management expertise on coal-fired energy vegetation, smelters, and different main industrial SO2 emitters.
In August final yr, a research by Greenpeace had claimed that India is the world’s largest emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide, which is produced from coal burning, and vastly contributes to air air pollution.
Greenpeace India has launched an evaluation of a Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration (NASA) information, saying India has greater than 15 per cent of all anthropogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) hotspots on the earth detected by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite tv for pc.