World Air Quality Report 2020: Key Findings and situation pollution of India
World Air Quality Report 2020: Delhi, the most polluted capital of the world
World Air Quality Report, 2020 has been released globally by IQAir ( Swiss Organization). As per the report, India is the third most polluted country in the world and Delhi is the most polluted capital of the world.
It was stated by CEO of IQ Air, Frank Hammes, "the year 2020 brought an unexpected dip in air pollution. In 2021, we will likely see an increase in air pollution due to human activity, again. We hope this report will highlight that urgent action is both possible and necessary to combat air pollution, which remains the world's greatest environmental health threat."
World Air Quality Report 2020: Key Findings
- The World Air Quality Report includes data for 106 countries, up from 98 countries in 2019 and 69 countries in 2018.
- Only 1.6% of the cities of South Asia met the PM 2.5 target standardised by the World Health Organization.
- 37 out of 40 most polluted cities belonged to South Asia
- As per the report 13-22% deaths in South Asia are due to air pollution
- 7.4% of GDP is lost in South Asia due to air pollution
- The worst air quality experienced in South Asia is in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
- 32% cities in India average US AQI measurement of 'unhealthy' that is greater than 55.55 micrograms pollutants per metre cube in air quality
- Delhi's air quality improved by almost 15 per cent from 2019 to 2020, in spite of which it is the 10th most polluted city in the world
- India continues to feature prominently at the top of the most polluted cities ranking, with 22 of the top 30 most polluted cities globally
- The top most polluted city is Xinjiang in China followed by nine Indian cities
- Ghazaibad is the second most polluted city after Delhi in India
- India has shown improvement in various cities with 63% reporting direct improvements over 2019 average counted.
- The pollution levels still are following a downward trend from 2018 till now.
- South East Asian and South Asian countries are still the most polluted ones in the world.
- 49 out of 50 most polluted cities are shared by Bangladesh, India, China and Pakistan.
- 7 million people die of air pollution annually out of which 6 lakh are children
- The COVID 19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in fossil fuel burning which caused tremendous reduction in air pollution
- 65% of the global cities experienced air quality improvements from 2019 while 84% countries saw improvement in their air quality overall
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What are the major sources of Air Pollution in Delhi?
Major sources of India's air pollution include
- Biomass burning for cooking
- Electricity generation
- Waste burning
- Episodic agricultural burning/ Jhoom farming
As per the report, the transportation sector is one of the major contributors to India's leading PM2.5 emission sources across cities.
About Delhi's Air Pollution:
Delhi is the 10 most polluted city of the world and the worst air quality index possessing capital in the world. The average annual PM 2.5 concentration of 84.1 micrograms per cubic metre was observed in 2020. The city on the list was followed by Dhaka which had an annual average of PM 2.5 concentration at 77.1.
Besides Delhi, the 21 other Indian cities among the 30 most polluted cities in the world are Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Bisrakh Jalalpur, Noida, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Agra and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Bhiwari in Rajasthan, Faridabad, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, Bandhwari, Gurugram, Yamuna Nagar, Rohtak and Dharuhera in Haryana, and Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
Avinash Chanchal, Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace India said, "while many cities, including Delhi, have recorded marginal improvements in air quality due to lockdowns, the health and economic cost of air pollution remains severe.