India biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide: Report

According to recently released report by Greenpeace India, India is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the world. The findings of report were based on data obtained from NASA’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite.

Findings of Report

Indian Scenario: It is largest emitter of SO2 in the world, with more than 15% of all anthropogenic SO2 hotspots detected by NASA OMI satellite. Most all of these anthropogenic emissions in India are because of coal-burning. This is because majority of coal-based power plants in India lack flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) technology to reduce air pollution. Singrauli, Neyveli, Jharsuguda, Talcher, Korba, Chennai, Kutch, Ramagundam, Chandrapur and Koradi thermal power plants/clusters are major emission hotspots in India

Government Measures: Union Environment Ministry for the first time had SO2 emission limits for coal-fired power plants in December 2015 to combat pollution levels. But the deadline for installation of flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) in power plants was extended from 2017 to 2022.

Global scenario: Largest SO2 emission hotspots have been found in Russia, South Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Serbia. Of world’s major emitters, China and United States (US) have been able to reduce emissions rapidly by switching to clean energy sources and enforcement for SO2 control. Emissions of air pollutants from power plants and other industries continue to increase in India, Iran and Saudi Arabia. In Russia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey, emissions are currently not increasing — however, there is not lot of progress in tackling them either.