Climate change

Climate change: can cap and trade be the solution to Delhi’s pollution problem?


It cannot be denied that climate change has emerged as one of the most pressing issues of the day, with experts worrying about the future of the world as we move forward at this rate. In its publication of the Fifth Assessment Report in 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of 1,300 independent scientists from around the world concluded that there is a greater than a 95% chance that human activity at over the past 50 years has warmed the planet. They attribute the main causes of warming to greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels such as petroleum (petroleum), natural gas and coal.

Other sources of greenhouse gases come from deforestation, changes in land use, soil erosion, agriculture and livestock (IPCC, 2013). When greenhouse gases are released, they heat the atmosphere. Well, the impact of global warming has been shared around the world, and therefore, must be action against it. According to data published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “changes in temperature and precipitation, rising ocean temperatures, sea levels and acidity, melting glaciers and sea ​​ice, changes in the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme weather conditions. events, changes in ecosystem characteristics, such as the length of the growing season, the timing of flower blooming and bird migration, and increasing negative effects on human health and well-being. (EPA, 2017).

The majority of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) cites that 80% of global energy consumption is based on fossil fuels. In 2016, 56% of US carbon emissions came from transportation and electricity.

Likewise, in 2015, 58% of California’s carbon emissions came from transportation and electricity. In the United States, the main source of carbon emissions in the energy sector is coal. According to a 2015 report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), total CO2 emissions from US coal-fired electric power were 1,364 million metric tons. In contrast, CO2 emissions from natural gas and petroleum were 530 million metric tonnes and 24 million metric tonnes, respectively.

As can be seen from the archives of the past, global market agencies prefer energy produced by fossil fuels. In the electricity sector, global fossil fuel subsidies are around $ 100 billion per year, while global subsidies for renewable forms of electricity are around $ 30 billion per year (Kitson , Wooders and Moerenhout, 2011). Shifting to a low-carbon future will require reducing these massive fossil fuel subsidies. Although this subject has been raised repeatedly in various fora for a long time, its implementation has been more difficult to achieve.

According to the 2016 World Health Organization report, Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world and has maintained its position in the list for a very long time. Among the 11 mega-cities in the world with more than 14 million inhabitants, Delhi has the highest levels of suspended particles (PM 10). This makes Delhi’s air virtually unbreathable, resulting in the death of around 10,000 residents annually due to rising pollution levels. (Talking tree, 2015).

According to a report published by Dr Pradhan in India Today in 2015, an inhabitant of Delhi is exposed to an average of 153 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 2.5. To put this statistic into perspective, consider that it is fifteen times the limit recommended by the WHO. Also note that PM 2.5 is considered the most harmful of all measurable particles.

However, none of these figures are new or unprecedented, as the pollution problem in Delhi has been understood and analyzed by policy makers and experts for some time now. What is new, however, is the political response to this problem.

The main causes of particulate matter, PM 2.5 and PM 10, in India are vehicle emissions and industrial processes. Other pollutants emitted by these two elements include CO, NOx, SO2, etc. Following the Delhi High Court’s remark that living in Delhi is equivalent to living in a gas chamber, the Delhi government imposed the odd-even policy in 2016. This policy was introduced in an attempt to mitigate pollution caused by congestion. Delhi roads.

Even if the impact of this policy is rather questionable, the purpose of its discussion is to highlight the fact that it is the only explicit political action aimed at directly combating pollutants. According to the 2019 Delhi State Action Plan report, some policy actions in the transport and vehicle sector have been proposed to control the pollution emitted by vehicles. However, any tangible impact has yet to be assessed. Most policies of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee include tackling polluted areas and sources of pollution, but not directly tackling pollutants.

The purpose of discussing these key strategies for improving the city’s air quality is to show what precisely these policies lack in action at the industrial level. Industrial exhaust fumes add major pollutants to Delhi’s air and easily count as a major source of pollution in the state.

Therefore, the idea behind the proposed document revolves around this: to directly control pollutants emitted by industries. Most of the existing actions in this regard include only the establishment of certain standards.

Areas like Okhla, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, Narela, Badarpur, Mundka and Mayapuri are called the toxic hubs of Delhi. Another thing common to all of these places, however, is that they are all industrial hotspots in the state. The correlation is obvious, and that’s exactly what we can use to our advantage.

The idea of ​​the proposed political action includes the establishment of a cap-and-trade market in these industrial regions.

Cap-and-trade model

Climate change and its impacts threaten the very existence of life on earth, as scientists and experts have repeatedly explained. Regardless of the challenges that lie ahead in terms of the required change and implementation, it is imperative that we continue to do our best to mitigate the effects of climate change and put our world on a more sustainable path.

The cap-and-trade system is a market-based tool that tackles climate pollution and creates income to invest in a clean energy future. The United States has a history of inaction at the federal level on climate change issues, but the world cannot afford to wait for federal legislation. The problem of climate change has grown considerably in the past and will continue to worsen if each authority is not aware of its responsibility. Therefore, sitting down for the Center to take action would get us nowhere, it is important that States take action and take responsibility for the next step.

A cap is a restriction on the amount of pollution that can be emitted by all businesses in a particular region. This level is then broken down into allocations, according to different industries and scale of operations. This allowance is then purchased or obtained in the form of a license from the state government (or regulatory body).

The trade then occurs by a company to pollute beyond a certain limit, of another company which is ready to give up part of its said limit, for a price. This price is set according to a microeconomic analysis of the will (based on investment and operating expenses) and an econometric analysis of the economic relationship at the industry level between production and pollution.

Why cap and trade?

Two main reasons make this market-based tool an impressive strategy:

First, it tackles climate pollution through direct control of pollutants, and its implementation is state-based. Second, it generates income to invest more in political actions aimed at improving the state’s pollution conditions.

days of poor air quality in delhi could start on Sunday |  city ​​news, Indian express

The global precedents of Cap-And-Trade-

The cap and trade program was originally introduced in California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) 2006. The program was extended until 2030 in 2017, due to its success during its first decade. It has since been adopted in various countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, South Korea and Quebec.

Action plan for adoption in Delhi

If you look at the list of countries above, you will only see developed countries, mainly due to the nature of the political action required to implement the model. For Delhi, however, the advantage is that most industries are concentrated in specific regions and are mostly homogeneous in raw materials. This may allow for a more defined adoption of the model, depending on regional requirements.

The studies carried out by the Delhi Pollution Control Board specify the pollution emitted by different regions, which means that the establishment of an exogenous ceiling can be specific to the industry since the industrial concentration by zone is mainly homogeneous in Delhi.

Note also that the success of such a program depends on the way in which the exchanges take place between the companies. A key determinant in this regard, according to examples from different studies, depends on differences in operating scale, availability of capital and operating costs. Although more definitive information on this subject would require further analysis, a report published by O Saigal explicitly explains this difference.

Of course, a number of endogenous considerations would be necessary to inculcate during the modeling, the available data and the aforementioned parameters explain that this can be done. Appropriate planning and policy formation can do just that.


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