The Gujarat government’s implementation of a cap-and-trade programme is an important milestone in India’s war against air pollution. Although the pilot project specifically targets particulate matter (PM) pollutants in Surat’s industrial belt, it has wider ramifications for the country.
The scheme is a departure from the traditional command and control approach to environment regulation. The past approach failed to curb emissions and instead bred a culture of non-compliance among companies. The pilot’s success could lead to the adoption of market-based approaches in tackling India’s other environmental challenges.