Indo-US air pollution meet - Fusion - WeRIndia

Indo-US air pollution meet filled with argument

Indo-US air pollution meet filled with argument

The Indo-US workshop on air pollution had its concluding sessions of on Wednesday. The discussion was quite heated between Sunita Narain, head of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and some experts from the US.

The argument started when one of the experts suggested that the state which burns crop stubble causing air pollution can be sued for doing so. An agreement has been reached that a strict strategy should be formed to enforce accountability and reduce air pollution levels.

Nareen said that participants of the workshop were talking as if India just realized the air pollution problem. She said that they should respect the action already taken to fight air pollution if they want to work in the country.

She stated that farmers in Punjab and Haryana are burning crop stubble because they don’t have any economic incentives to stop it. The farmers don’t have the machinery to bail it and plough it back she argued. She firmly asked the participants to not lecture unless they are sensitive to the challenges.

She added that local and global pollution are intrinsically linked and pointed out the increase greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sector in US. She concluded that they can help fix local and the two countries can work together to fix the global problem.

The group has discussed further to form final recommendations. They said that India should form a policy which makes state governments compliant and are given deadlines to meet air quality standards. The recommendation of the group is that if these deadlines are not met the state governments could be penalized by withholding central funds for various projects.

The experts of the group said that US has a similar policy and suggested that India could also implement such a system. However, it would need a new legislation to enforce.

Image credit: Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay (Free for commercial use)

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