India, world’s largest emitter of sulfur dioxide, declines in emissions in 2019: report

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New Delhi: India’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, which contribute to air pollution, have registered a significant decline of around six percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the biggest decline in four years.
However, India has continued to occupy the position of top emitter for the fifth consecutive year, the report is based on analysis conducted by Greenpeace India and the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CRA) released on Tuesday.
Sulfur dioxide is a toxic air pollutant that increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and premature death.
In 2019, India emitted 21 percent of global anthropologist (man-made) SO2 emissions, nearly twice the second-place global emitter, Russia.
China occupies the third place. The report states that the annual report has the largest emitters of sulfur dioxide in the world.
According to the report, India’s largest emission hotspots are lunar power stations (or clusters of power stations) at Singrauli, Neyveli, Sipat, Mundra, Korba, Bonda, Tamnar, Talcher, Jharsuguda, Kutch, Surat, Chennai, Ramagundam, Chandrapur. , Visakhapatnam and Koradi.
Although India needs to be given credit for making ambitious progress in renewable energy, the continued support for coal-based energy generation raises concern, it said.
The report noted that India has been reasonably ahead in its clean energy transition and has set one of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy targets, but most power plants lack FGD units.
Renewable energy capacity is increasing in India’s electricity sector, which will deliver more than two-thirds of the subcontinent’s new capacity during FY 2019-20.
However, these efforts have been seen more than the fact that most power plants in India lack flu-gas desulfurization (FGD) units. FGD units are important in the process of reducing emissions, it said.
Avinash Chanchal, a climate campaigner from Greenpeace India, said that renewable energy capacity may expand but air quality is not safe.
In India, we are getting a glimpse of how the reduction in coal use can have an impact on air quality and health. In 2019, renewable energy capacity expanded, coal dependence decreased and we saw improvement in air quality. But our air is still safe.
We must accelerate the energy transition away from coal and towards renewal for our health and economy. Chanchal said that while ensuring just the transition of energy with the help of decentralized renewable sources, we need to prioritize the use of electricity for the poor.
In 2015, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change introduced SO2 emission limits for coal power stations. The report stated that the power plants missed the initial deadline of December 2017 for setting up FGD units.
However the deadline was extended to 2022, as by June 2020 most power plants are operating without compliance with the standards.
Five years after setting the SO2 emission limit, the Government of India has decided to close non-compliant thermal power stations and has also allocated Rs 4,400 crore to tackle the air pollution crisis.
SO2 emissions are directly and worse affecting the health of millions of people through converting to PM2.5, said Sunil Dahiya, analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).
The most efficient and easiest way to reduce PM2.5 levels is to install FGDs and reduce SO2 emissions from power plants as they make up a significant fraction of total PM2.5 pollution at various locations throughout the country.
Every single day delay in implementation of the prescribed norms and not installing the FGD system is causing huge health and economic damage to our society, it is time that culprits / non-compliant power plants are pulled to inaction And to ensure better implementation, society suffers. Moving forward, he said.
It is high time governments reduce investment in fossil fuels and shift to safer energy sources, such as wind and solar, the report says, they also have to tighten emissions standards and make coal-fired power plants But must effectively implement flue gas pollution control technology, smelters, and other major industrial SO2 emitters.
In August last year, a Greenpeace study claimed that India is the largest emitter of anthropogenic sulfur dioxide in the world, produced by burning coal, and contributes greatly to air pollution.
Greenpeace India has released an analysis of data from a National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), which states that India has 15 of the world’s all anthropogenic sulfur dioxide (SO2) hotspots known by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite. Is greater than the percentage.

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