Stop all support to the fossil fuel industry & do not dilute the NOx norms !!!

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I am a 15 year old student, living in New Delhi, the most polluted city of the world. I have at an early age of a teenage paid the price of living in this toxic air & for no fault of mine have lungs that of a smoker. Air pollution is a national health crisis in India. Last year more than 70 researchers, scientists and policy makers including institutes like ICMR, IITs, IITM, MoEF&CC, PHFI, AIIMS and other reputed medical institutions jointly worked on a research to conclude that 1.24 million people died in India in 2017 due to air pollution.

Thermal power plants are one of the key sectors responsible for causing the above mentioned health impacts by emitting particulate matter, Sulfur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide and mercury. According to NASA estimates, India contributes to 15% of global sulfur dioxide emissions predominantly due to coal power plants.

In order to reduce the emissions from coal power plants your government on 7th December 2015 came up with a landmark notification imposing stricter emission standards for power plants. The rules if implemented would reduce SO2, NOx and PM emissions by 48%, 48% and 40%, respectively according to CPCB.

However even after 3.5 years, instead of being implemented, the rules are getting diluted and deadlines extended.

Due to pressure and lobby by the polluting power generation companies and Ministry of Power, the Government is trying to relax the norms for NOx control from initial 300 mg/m³ to 450 mg/m³ for older power plants (installed during 2004-2016) and is also trying to dilute the limits for new power plants which are set at 100 mg/m³. Supreme court during recent hearing (5th August 2019, WP (Civil), no 13029/1985) has agreed to the first proposal by Ministry of power to dilute the norms from 300 mg/m³ to 450 mg/m³ and now the Government does not see any hurdle in their way to give power plants free license to kill by emitting higher amounts of the toxic gases.

If MoEF&CC goes ahead with the Ministry of Power and the polluting coal industries proposal, it will be a big blow to the fight against hazardous air pollution. A commitment which this government already gave as part of National Clean Air Program (NCAP) and as part of the election promise.

We need to remind the Government again that we have “Fundamental Right to Life” which includes access to pollution free environment for healthy growth. The Government’s priority should be safeguarding public health and not protecting the polluting coal industry specially when we have better technology for pollution control and other sustainable option for energy generation. The Government has to admit & Declare Climate Emergency.

We all know that the air pollution and climate emergency shares the same solution which is stopping all kind of support for the fossil fuel industry; not allowing it’s further expansion and moving more aggressively towards expanding clean energy systems.

Ask the Prime Minister (PMO) of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Ministry of Power (MoP) not to dilute the NOx norms and ensure stricter implementation of SO2 norms to help us secure our right to breathe. Declare Climate Emergency...!!!

#AirPollution #CoalKills #GoSolar #MyRightToBreathe