India faces the world’s worst air pollution crisis, with billions of people constantly exposed to unhealthy levels of ambient PM 2.5 (the most harmful pollutant in the air). In 2022, several Indian cities ranked as the most polluted cities in the world. Today, in 2023, the air quality in India’s capital has plummeted to a ‘severe plus’ category, making Delhi the most polluted city in the country. This appalling decline in air quality and awareness of its ill effects on the health and development sectors in India is driving effective innovation in public governance with the support of the private sector.

Pollution control markets have been widely credited with reducing pollution in many regions across the world. For instance, in the United States, between 1980 and 2003, the introduction of the US Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) dramatically reduced the pollution caused by sulfur dioxide in the air by 40%. Trading markets have been adopted ever since for reducing pollutants in Canada and Europe, but never before to tackle particulate pollution in the air.