New Delhi: Terming diesel as ‘villain’ of the air pollution, environmental experts today said technology for better fuels was available and governments were keen to act to move ahead but only automobile industry seems to be ‘stalling’ it and they needs to be brought on board.
Addressing ‘Anil Agarwal Dialogue 2015’, organised by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) here, experts and researchers said the use of diesel in vehicles will increase across the world, including India, and demanded that the country should implement Euro 6 emission standards by 2020 to cut vehicular diesel pollution.
“The bad news is diesel usage in vehicles will continue to grow across the world -– including India — and diesel remains the villain of the air pollution and mobility stage.
“The good news is, the technology to leapfrog to better fuels is available and governments and refineries are keen to act on this. Only the automobile industry seems to be stalling and needs to be brought on board,” CSE said in a statement today.
CSE pointed out that even the limited evidences in India points toward high contribution of diesel fuel combustion in cities in formation of tiny killer particles – PM2.5.
“Some of the deadliest air toxics (WHO says some of them can lead to cancers) are related to diesel emissions. These have been blamed for killing unborn foetuses as well. Urgent action is therefore needed to deal with this menace,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director(Research and Advocacy) CSE.
Diesel produces a higher proportion of black carbon which absorbs light and forces heating, as opposed to biomass burning in cooking stoves which produces more organic carbon that scatters sunlight. Of total black carbon emissions across the world, 20 per cent is expected to be generated by diesel, she said.
CSE noted that India implemented its Auto Fuel Policy in 2010, which introduced the Bharat Stage-3 emission norms all over the country and the Bharat Stage-4 in 13 cities.
The proposal to extend Bharat Stage-4 to more cities by April 1, 2015 was, however, “nixed” in a meeting of Standing Committee of Emissions held in February 2015, it said. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had requested for an extension and the meeting granted this thereby delaying the norms further,” CSE said.
Li Kunsheng, Director of Vehicle Emission Management at the Beijing Municipal Environment Protection Bureau had during a session pointed out that China had implemented China-5 emission standards in 2013, while the Euro-5 fuel standard had been introduced way back in 2008.
“We have succeeded in reducing air pollution and are committed to reducing it further through a number of strategies which include improving emission standards, technology and phasing out old vehicles using outdated technology,” Kunsheng had said yesterday.
Michael P Walsh, Special Advisor for Global Strategy at the International Council on Clean Transportation had also said it was important for India to implement Euro 6 standards by 2020.
CSE has been demanding the country leapfrog and the norms be enforced earlier — Euro-5 by 2017 and Euro-6 by 2020.
“India has the capability to meet this target for Euro-6 with a fiscal support strategy and we must not let the sluggish response of automobile manufacturers slow us down. The US and Europe have already implemented Euro-5 in 2009 and Euro-6 in 2014, Roy Chowdhury added.
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