Story | Centre for Science and Environment

Story


Hush-hush public notice on emissions norms

We discovered this by sheer chance, buried in the website of the Union Ministry of Shipping Road Transport and Highways. This is a public notice soliciting public opinion on the unfinished agenda of the emissions standards roadmap finalised way back in 2003. This seeks Euro IV standards in 11 cities and Euro III in the rest of the country by 2010. But this notification was not given adequate publicity in the popular media. It is not even aiming to stir a public debate and animated scientific discussion.

MMT: Metal assault

In what seemingly looks like a diplomatic offensive to protect toxic trade, the US based company, Afton Chemicals, producer of fuel and lubricant additives, has lobbied hard with the US government to mount pressure on the European regulators to prevent the proposed ban on its product, Manganese Tricarbonyl Methylcyclopentadienyl (MMT), a very harmful octane enhancer for petrol. Afton has introduced MMT to replace yet another harmful octane booster tetraethyl lead. Both are neurotoxic metals added to petrol to boost octane and are produced and sold by the same company.

Great convergence: Health, climate and vehicles

The recently-released annual global energy trend tracker, World Energy Outlook (WEO), 2007 of the International Energy Agency, has sounded the alert on India crossing the tipping point of per capita GDP of $3000. This threshold, once crossed, says WEO, vehicle ownership rates begin to escalate rapidly. The rolling stock of vehicles continuously locks up huge amount of energy and carbon. Increases toxic emissions in our cities. Suddenly, widely different concerns have converged around vehicles – public health, fuel splurge and climate impacts.

Winter and Diesel cars

by Anumita Roychowdhury, Right To Clean Air Campaign

Even without looking at the air pollution figures we know from the darkened sky-line that Delhi's air quality gains will be lost this winter. Air has begun to get heavy with dust, smoke and particles. Calm and cool weather is blocking the dispersal of smoke and pollutants. Low-hanging shroud impairs visibility, chokes lungs. Winter is a seasonal statement of the growing pollution crisis, a cyclical reminder of our inability to put into action the real solutions.

CLEAN AIR HAS VOTES TOO

It is easy to take credit for success but not ownership for the problem. It is even easier if a small whiff of success allows you to wish away the problem altogether. Not more determined to solve it. The Assembly polls are only a fortnight away in Delhi. All political parties have pitched their battle cry to a crescendo. But there is not even a whisper on future action on air pollution. The political perception is that air pollution is under control. Illogical but true -- some action can breed more inaction!

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