New report : Pathways to Achieve NAAQS in India

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have released results from a new analysis which shows that aligning sustainable development policies to the implementation of advanced emission control technologies could provide National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)-compliant air quality to about 85% of the Indian population.

Key highlights:

– Current emission controls are effective, but their benefits are neutralised by rapid economic growth.
– 674 million citizens likely to breathe air with high PM 2.5 levels in 2030, even if India were to comply with its existing pollution control policies and regulations.
– Compliance with 2018 legislations will be essential for stabilising pollution levels as the economy grows.
– Perhaps most importantly, effective solutions require regional cooperation between cities and states .
– Effective solutions must address all sources that contribute to PM2.5 formation.


“While current ambient PM2.5 monitoring in India reveals high levels in urban areas, remote sensing, comprehensive air quality modeling, and emission inventories, suggest large-scale exceedances of the NAAQS, also in rural areas. Pollution from rural areas is transported into the cities (and vice versa), where it constitutes a significant share of pollution making the coordination of urban-rural and inter-state responses critical.”

Pallav Purohit, IIASA


“The health burden of air pollution is significant in India. Limited control of air pollution will aggravate this burden in the future. The IIASA-CEEW study clearly shows that the policy choices of today will impact future air quality and its aftermaths. The central and state governments must do more to align air quality, climate change, and sustainable development goals in a resource efficient manner.”

Hem Dholakia, CEEW

Download the report

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