Gujarat Pilots Emissions Trading Programme to Tackle Air Pollution
The western state of Gujarat has launched the world’s first trading programme for particulate air pollution. The pilot, launched on World Environment Day in June this year, replicates a market-based system. The government sets a cap on emissions and allows industries to buy and sell permits in order to stay below the cap. This is similar to a system that successfully reduced acid rain in the United States in the 1990s. The pilot programme was put in place in the city of Surat, a densely populated industrial belt where textile and dye mills contribute to air pollution. As the first market-based approach to regulating pollution emissions in India, it is expected to reduce air pollution at a low cost to both the government and the industry, as well as pave way for replicating similar trading schemes to reduce all kinds of unwanted emissions.