- The Gujarat government has started an emissions trading programme. The programme aims to reduce particulate air pollution and facilitate robust economic growth.
- Under the programme, the government sets a cap on emissions and allows industries to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap.
- The Gujarat state pollution control board (GPCB) will define the total mass of pollution that can be released into the air over a certain fixed period by all industrial units together. This will be equivalent to the cap.
- The programme is the first market-based approach to regulate pollution emissions in India. Further, it is also the first in the world to regulate particulate air pollution. Globally, the cap-and-trade system has been used to reduce other forms of emissions such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the US.
- At present, the programme is being piloted in Surat to understand its impact on emissions, industry costs and regulatory costs.
- GPCB has collaborated with researchers from Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and other institutions like the Harvard Kennedy School, Yale University and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab to evaluate the programme’s benefits and costs.
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