Sunday, July 15, 2012

Air Pollution News & Alerts - July 15th, 2012

Clean Air Task Force, July, 2012
Best Practices for Reduction of Methane and Black Carbon from Arctic Oil and Gas Production.

Science Daily, July 15th, 2012
Gas from Pollutants, Forest Fires at Potentially Toxic Levels.

The New York Times, July 15th, 2012
A Mayan Water System With Lessons for Today.

Scientific American, July 15th, 2012
Could Geo-engineering Stop Heat Waves?

Science Daily, July 15th, 2012
Coastal Populations Are Healthier Than Those Inland.

Demotix, July 15th, 2012
Air Pollution in Dhaka.

NPR, July 15th, 2012
From Coal To Gas: The Potential Risks And Rewards.

NPR, July 14th, 2012
Miners Weather The Slow Burn Of Coal's Demise.

New Straits Times, July 14th, 2012
Lessons from China on reducing air pollution.

The New York Times, July 13th, 2012
On Our Radar: Air Alerts, From China to U.S.

Times of India, July 13th, 2012
Particulate matter kills 3.1 million people worldwide annually.

Deccan Herald, July 13th, 2012
For a breath of fresh air in Delhi.

CNN, July 13th, 2012
Electric car concept drives progress with extended 500-mile range.

The New York Times, July 13th, 2012
Turning a Coal Mine’s Gas Problem Into a Ski Resort’s CO2 and Energy Solution.

Science Daily, July 13th, 2012
Caution Needed With New Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards: New Model Provides Lifecycle Analysis of 'Well-To-Wheel' Oil Sands Emissions.

NPR, July 12th, 2012
The Natural Gas Boom: Doing More Harm Than Good?

NPR, July 12th, 2012
Waste Not, Want Not: Town To Tap Sewers For Energy.

NPR, July 12th, 2012
Finding Common Ground In Environmental Debates.

The Guardian, July 11th, 2012
New cars in Europe may have to cut carbon emissions by one-third.

The Guardian, July11th, 2012
EU to announce cleaner car plans.

Scientific American, July 11th, 2012
'Improved' Cookstoves May Do Little to Reduce Harmful Indoor Emissions.

Science Daily, July 10th, 2012
Waste to Watts: Improving Microbial Fuel Cells.

Science Daily, July 10th, 2012
No Matter the Drilling Method, Natural Gas Is a Much-Needed Tool to Battle Global Warming.

The Guardian, July 10th, 2012
Climate change is not science fiction.

Global Times, July 10th, 2012
Guangzhou residents to pay extra if their garbage exceeds a kilo a day.

China Daily, July 10th, 2012
5 million greener vehicles on the streets by 2020 in China.

Shanghai Daily, July 10th, 2012
Clean air benchmark has worst air quality.

Iowa Now, July 10th, 2012
New eyes in the sky - UI researchers develop technique to help pollution forecasters see past clouds.

The Hindu, July 9th, 2012
Cycling cities.

China Dialogue, July 9th, 2012
Beijing seeks to kill coal with gas.

China Daily, July 9th, 2012
Smoking increases pollution.

Global Times, July 8th, 2012
Residents face higher winter fuel bills in drive to clean up capital’s air.

Mail India, July 7th, 2012
Choked: Delhi's pollution level is fives times worse than just eight years ago as experts warn air quality is as noxious as Jharia coal town.

Deccan Herald, July 7th, 2012
Dying for a breath of fresh air.

Power Engineering, July 6th, 2012
EPA proposes air quality plan for Arizona coal-fired power plants.

Mother Jones, July 5th, 2012
"Jet Li" Loves Coal Ash: A Case of Astroturfing?

Business Review, July 5th, 2012
Public Invited to Weigh In on Proposed Transportation Improvements.

The Atlantic, July 5th, 2012
A Stunning Visualization of China's Air Pollution.

Egypt Independent, July 5th, 2012
It's up to the people to fight for the environment.

The New York Times, July 4th, 2012
Can China Follow U.S. Shift from Coal to Gas?

Grist Magazine, July 3rd, 2012
Coal and China: Bad, but maybe not as bad as you think.

Xinhua Net, July 2nd, 2012
China implements energy-saving electricity pricing system.

Chicago Tribune, July 1st, 2012
China caps car sales in Guangzhou to ease jams.

Reuters, June 29th, 2012
Memo to Hong Kong's new leader: must clear the air.

Council for Foreign Relations, June 29th, 2012
China Tries to Breathe Free.

Council for Foreign Relations, June 29th, 2012
China Tries to Breathe Free.

China.Org, June 28th, 2012
Release of all PM2.5 readings starts in Shanghai.

China Post, June 27th, 2012
Air quality leaves China gov't wheezing.

IBN Live, June 27th, 2012
Garbage generated around the world.

Gant Daily, June 26th, 2012
Household air pollution in Laos fuels pneumonia.

Assam Times, June 26th, 2012
Guwahati one of the most polluted city in the world.

All Africa, June 24th, 2012
Ethiopia: Addis to Monitor Air Pollution.

Outlook India, June 21st, 2012
Sing No More The Mumbai Malhar.

China.Org, June 20th, 2012
Public bike rental wheels into Beijing.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Air Pollution in Delhi - What's After CNG?

My article published in Economic Political Weekly (EPW) June 30th, 2012, issue.

As India's capital, Delhi has grown across sectors - industry, transport, and housing - which contribute to an increase in air pollution. This, in turn, has increased health risks, which are reflected in a rise in respiratory ailments. While the benefits of some interventions in the transport sector have been apparent, it is time to focus on low-hanging fruit in other sectors in order to improve air quality and public health in the city.

Download the article

More on the air pollution in Delhi, emissions inventory, and details on sources of air pollution, visit

Coal and China - How Bad is it? (Grist Magazine)

This is an extract from an article "interview with Michael Liebreich" published in GRIST Magazine on July 3rd, 2012

And now you see them worrying about air quality. Where is China on the Kuznet’s curve? You could argue that they’re reaching the peak. When I first went to Seoul, it was a horribly clogged city with air quality problems. I’ve been back in recent years and they’re clearly over the top of [the curve]. They’re talking green growth, they’ve restored the river through the city, you can see the mountains around Seoul — I didn’t even know there were mountains when I went in the ’90s. It’s clear that Shanghai and Beijing don’t want to live in this air soup. They want a decent quality of life as they get wealthier.

Read more.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Press Release: Better Air Quality = Better Cities

27 June 2012, New Delhi – Air pollution is a serious health issue, and according to the World Health Organization, particulate matter alone kills 3.1 million people annually worldwide. This is higher than the average number of people killed in traffic accidents annually.

“With the current trend of urbanization and motorization, we need to empower cities towards a sustainable air quality management program - with more stringent standards and more powerful pollution control boards,” says Parthaa Bosu, CAI-Asia India Representative. “People flock to cities and this trend worsens air pollution posing great health risks to the population.”

About 340 million people in India live in cities and by 2030 this is expected to reach 590 million. India’s motorization index is currently about a tenth of developed regions like the US and Europe but is climbing rapidly. Estimates have shown that Delhi is adding 300,000 cars a year. For India as a whole, research shows that the vehicle population will more than double between 2005 and 2015, from 50 million to 125 million in 10 years. The resulting air pollutants and GHG emissions from these vehicles contribute to the air pollution problem in most urban cities in India.

To advocate for better air quality for cities, a series of workshops were conducted in the cities of Pune, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The sessions covered all the components of integrated air quality management necessary to analyse and manage the air pollution in the cities, including tools to develop an emissions inventory and available management options to command and control air pollution in the cities.

These workshops are part of the Air Quality and Climate Change Program of the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia). Supported by the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and in partnership with, CAI-Asia moves the agenda of air quality management forward by sharing the results from the’s study - Urban AirPollution & Co-benefits Analysis in Six Indian Cities – Pune, Chennai,Indore, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Rajkot. The city workshops included hands-on training for the SIM-air family of tools.

Dr. Sarath Guttikunda from UrbanEmissions.Info states, “the program is not meant to advocate a model, but to spread the concept of knowledge management for air quality management in the cities. This is a much needed exercise, where the required information in scattered and we need programs to collate that for an informed decision making.”

Mr. Rajesh Rangarajan, Senior Researcher from Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai, India, quotes, “we are using the results from the’s study in Chennai to advise the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board on the placement of new air quality monitoring stations, based on the pollution hotspots and influencing emission sources like the brick kilns and landfills”.

A National Air Quality Management Workshop held in June 21 gathered members of government, civil society, and private sector under the banner for better air quality for cities. Showing their support for the air quality advocacy, member secretaries - Shri J.S. Kamyotra and Naini Jaiseelan noted the importance of air quality as a priority issue in India. Case studies by representatives from Chennai, Indore, and Pimpri Chinchwad (new Pune) were also presented.

In his keynote address, Shri J.S. Kamyotra, Member Secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board, highlighted the need for improving monitoring, emission inventories, dispersion modelling, and their application for action plans for cities. Together with research organizations in India, source apportionment studies were conducted by CPCB and MoEF for the period 2006 to 2010.

The city representatives conceded more is needed to be done and urged for the different stakeholders from government, civil society, and the academe work together for urban development. The outcome of the workshop provided a list of recommendations for the pollution control boards and on the wealth of potential partnerships and support available from other stakeholders in India.