23 March 2018
New Delhi, India

Pathways to achieving India's ambient air quality standards

Round-table on Pathways to Achieving National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

Smog in India

Smog in India

Air pollution has significant negative impacts on human health. Specifically, exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in both ambient and indoor air is known to be an important risk factor for morbidity and mortality, particularly in developing countries. In India, pollution has become an important topic of debate at all levels, especially in relation to anthropogenic activities such as fossil fuel combustion in power generation, industrial processes and motor vehicles, and solid fuel use in traditional residential cooking. Household air pollution resulting from the use of solid cooking fuels is a leading contributor to the burden of disease in India, accounting for about one million premature deaths annually, approximately 6% of the national burden of disease. The emissions, exposure, and disease burden estimates warrant strenuous and targeted intervention efforts to address both ambient and household air pollution in India.

A project supported by the ClimateWorks Foundation and jointly carried out by IIASA and the Council on Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW) will assess the likely impacts of conceivable additional regulations on air quality and population exposure at national/state level in India using the GAINS model, quantifying both the costs and benefits of different policy measures. The intended outcome of the collaborative research is to provide policy makers with advice on effective domestic strategies that would lead to the achievement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) target for annual PM2.5 concentrations of 40 µg m-3 in the near future.

At this round-table meeting, IIASA scientists Gregor Kiesewetter, Pallav Purohit and Peter Rafaj, together with colleagues from CEEW, will present the main aspects of the project, including the major activities/sectors of air pollutants, key measures/interventions under alternative policy scenarios and the available policy options for achieving the NAAQS targets.

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Last edited: 21 March 2018


Pallav Purohit

Research Scholar

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

T +43(0) 2236 807 336


Karambelas A, Holloway T, Kiesewetter G, & Heyes C (2018). Constraining the uncertainty in emissions over India with a regional air quality model evaluation. Atmospheric Environment 174: 194-203. DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.11.052.

Amann M, Purohit P, Bhanarkar AD, Bertok I, Borken-Kleefeld J, Cofala J, Heyes C, Kiesewetter G, et al. (2017). Managing future air quality in megacities: A case study for Delhi. Atmospheric Environment 161: 99-111. DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.04.041.

Kiesewetter G, Purohit P, Schöpp W, Liu J, Amann M, & Bhanarkar A (2017). Source attribution and mitigation strategies for air pollution in Delhi. In: European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2017, 23–28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria.

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