Two-Thirds of the World’s Most Polluted Cities Are in India

13 · May · 2020
Photograph by: Breathe Mongolia

Asian city centers are disproportionately affected by urban air pollution according to an article from Bloomberg Green. The following are the main points concerning why and what is being done:

  • While Chinese cities have managed to significantly reduce smog levels, Indian cities continue to account for 14 of the most 20 polluted cities in the world. 
  • Polluted air is responsible for 7 million deaths annually and costs the world economy $5 trillion every year. 
  • China’s success in lowering pollution levels can be attributed to the country’s deeply centralized bureaucracy implementing wide-ranging, strict  policies; however, improvements are localized and PM2.5 levels have increased in other parts of the country.
  • India lags in awareness, mobilization, and resources to deal with rising pollution levels. 
  • The Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s government has made strides in promoting clean energy policies and reducing the number of households using cooking fires; however, the important issues of coal power plants, under-regulated construction sites, and growing vehicle emissions have not been addressed.
  • Urban air pollution is a result of a variety of industrial and agricultural practices: overcrowding of cities, coal-fired power plants, agricultural burning, and construction to name a few.

Ulaanbaatar ranks third in the top 20 most polluted cities in the world. It’s preceded only by Delhi and Dhaka which have twelve and six times the population of Ulaanbaatar, respectively.

Translated to Mongolian by Uyanga Dashdorj
Summarized by Enkhuun Byambadorj

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