Tanushree Ganguly, Adeel Khan and Karthik Ganesan
October 2021 | Clean Air
Suggested citation: Ganguly, Tanushree, Adeel Khan and Karthik Ganesan. 2021. What is Polluting India’s Air? The Need for an Official Air Pollution Emissions Database. New Delhi: Council on Energy, Environment and Water.
This study reviews and compares five databases (three global and two regional) that provide emission estimates for air pollutants in India. These databases include EDGARv5, ECLIPSEv6b, REASv3.2, SMoGv1 and TERI (2016). While these global and regional estimates agree on the leading sources of air pollution in India, they vary significantly from each other. The study illustrates the extent of these variations and the uncertainty it creates in assessing the severity of impact of different polluting sectors on India’s air quality levels. It also highlights the need for a periodically updated air pollution emission database for India that can capture the dynamic nature of air pollution in the country.
A comprehensive national emission database would be critical to determine sectoral emission reductions needed to meet the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) goals, which set a target of 20 to 30 per cent reduction in particulate concentrations by 2024. An emissions inventory is also necessary to evaluate the impact of policy and technological interventions on India’s emission load. While India has made significant progress in preparing clean air plans for over 100 non-attainment cities, expanding real-time monitoring infrastructure in cities and institutionalising the National Knowledge Network (NKN) in the first two years of the NCAP, it is yet to formalise its National Emission Inventory for air pollutants.
Source: Source: Authors’ analysis; Data from EDGAR, ECLIPSE, REAS, SMoG and TERI
Source: CEEW Analysis, 2021; Data sourced from ECLIPSE, EDGAR, REAS, SMoG and TERI (2016)
Source: Authors’ analysis; Data from EDGAR, ECLIPSE, REAS, SMoG and TERI