In 2019, India declared a “war against pollution” and launched its National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), signaling its desire to reduce particulate air pollution—the greatest threat to human health on the planet. The Programme, which aims to reduce particulate pollution by 20-30 percent nationally, will be implemented over the next five years.

Indians would have lived 4.3 years longer if the 2016 air quality met the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual safe air quality guideline of 10 micrograms per cubic metre, according to this new report
 

In many regulated markets, private, third-party auditors are chosen and paid by the firms that they audit, potentially creating a conflict of interest. This article reports on a two-year field experiment in the Indian state of Gujarat that sought to curb such a conflict by altering the market structure for environmental audits of industrial plants to incentivize accurate reporting. There are three main results. First, the status quo system was largely corrupted, with auditors systematically reporting plant emissions just below the standard, although true emissions were typically higher.

It is conventional wisdom that it is possible to reduce exposure to indoor air pollution, improve health outcomes, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the rural areas of developing countries through the adoption of improved cooking stoves.

Using the most comprehensive data file ever compiled on air pollution, water pollution, environmental regulations, and infant mortality from a developing country, the paper examines the effectiveness of India’s environmental regulations.

 

India

The Minister released a discussion paper on an emissions trading scheme for air pollutants in India. The paper has been prepared by experts from J-PAL, MIT and Harvard University at the request of the Ministry. This paper connects experience with emissions
trading, from programs like the U.S. Rain program, to lessons for implementation of a Trading Pilot Scheme in India.

Emissions trading schemes have great potential to lower pollution while minimizing compliance costs for firms in many areas now subject to traditional command-and-control regulation. This paper connects experience with emissions trading, from programs like the
U.S. Acid Rain program, to lessons for implementation of a Trading Pilot Scheme in India.