India, China battle toxic pollution as COP signs climate deal in Paris

China smog

More than 600,000 premature deaths occur in India every year, due to air pollution.

China has for the first time declared a red alert in the streets, following ait quality index levels reaching as high as 600 last week, when China was submerged under a heavy yellow-brown fog mixed with coal smoke.

All this, and more events centering climate change, have added more urgency to the new climate action plan being signed in Paris by more than 190 countries from around the world.

The draft has been finalised and will be presented tomorrow to all members participating in this monumental summit.

China is set to receive $300 million from the Asian Development Bank, as assistance for containing the dangerous pollution levels, which are posing an increasing health risk to residents in and around Beijing.

Delhi, meanwhile is trying to reign in the monster that is setting lose in the city. The National Green Tribunal of Delhi has ordered the ban of government-owned diesel vehicles in the city, and even privately owned diesel vehicles may soon be obsolete. Delhi has also planned a traffic regulation, where vehicles with odd and even registration numbers may be used only on alternate days.

Air pollution in Delhi exceeded WHO recommendation by forty times during this Diwali.

The world has come a long way in understanding the consequences of climate change. It seems only yesterday that world leaders were mocking the scientists who warned them of the aftermath of their unplanned “development”.

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