Where does air pollution come from? Does transport, industries, residences, agriculture waste, and other sectors contribute to poor air quality around us? Here is an interesting way to know. The Emissions Inventory report is here to quantify what specific pollutants are in the air we breathe and where they come from.
The catalogue of Emissions Inventory report was launched by Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) and TERI was launched on January 14. An emissions inventory is the quantification of pollutants in the atmosphere along with the specific sources from which these originate within a designated area. Experts believe that this is going to be one of the most important studies used by most people, whether it is the regulators, scientific community, or research community, this is going to be the most important document.
‘’While cataloguing, our researchers found that use of foreign emission factors shaping analyses. We need to encourage the use of indigenous emission factors wherever possible. In places where domestic emission factors are lacking, efforts need to be made to develop them. For example, sectors like road dust, which are still dependent on foreign emission factors, India can lead the way in developing region-specific emission factors’’, explained Hisham Mundol, Chief Advisor, EDF India.
“Emission Inventory is a basic building block for the firming up of public policies and practical action plans to address air pollution, and accurate Emission Inventory data is critical to make informed policy choices. We hope, through this report, existing inventories can be revised and expanded into previously studied sources and geographies’’, said Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI.
The ‘Catalogue of Indian Emission Inventory Reports – January 2022’ provides immediate access to all emission inventory reports conducted across India until 2021. Catalogued into a detailed air emission inventory it includes a comprehensive list of pollutants within a predetermined geographical area that is beneficial for developing clean air action plans. This is the first completed catalogue of all the air pollution studies for India. It is an online one-stop shop for policymakers, scientists, and researchers to refer and retrieve any report for a city.
Dr. Dipanjana Maulik, senior environment engineer, environment department, West Bengal said that “a robust emission inventory actually helps the policymakers, statutory operatives, and executive agencies to identify the major emitters and to privatise the area of interventions for reduction of emission or controlling emissions.”
Most of the current studies were concentrated in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, with a high focus on Delhi and the National Capital Region.It was found that only about 50% of the studies followed the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) guidelines closely, of using indigenous emission factors and primary data for creating emission inventories. And the other 50% of the studies relied heavily on USEPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency)emission factors for other sectors.
For a robust and reliable emission inventory, it is best to have indigenous emission factors that are tailored for Indian real-world conditions. Emission inventories should be periodically updated every few years to test the efficacy of interventions. Regional studies need to be carried out for areas within the same airshed, in order to strategize mitigation actions with an airshed approach.
Prof. Suresh Jain from the department of civil and environmental engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Tirupati said that “Most of the scientific studies has been focused more on the Indo-Gangetic plain and very few studies are there in the south part of the country, except, like when we talk about Bengaluru or Chennai or other big metropolitan cities.”
“I must congratulate the entire team of EDF and TERI for putting this effort into place and bringing such a nice document and compiling all the resources related to the emission inventory,” said Jain.