How will climate change affect ambient air pollution and what can policy-makers do now? Lessons from India

Avraham Ebenstein, Sangeeta Bansal, Sagnik Dey, Tanya Gupta, Kshitij Abhay Kakade, Avi Simhon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Air pollution is a growing concern in India, and its adverse health effects are well documented. Climate change is likely to exacerbate this problem by altering weather patterns and increasing the frequency and severity of extreme events. This paper examines the potential impact of climate change on ambient air pollution in India and its implications for policy design. Our analysis reveals that pollution in India is highly sensitive to variation in weather, particularly in the densely populated Indus-Gangetic Plain. Using our estimated relationship between weather and pollution, we predict that changing weather patterns will increase average PM2.5 concentrations by 3.1 μg/m3, leading to a loss of 364 million years of life expectancy. To address this challenge, we propose an emissions fee calibrated to be highest in regions most vulnerable to persistently high levels of pollution and most sensitive to future deterioration in air quality due to climate change.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)810-827
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Review of Economic Policy
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • ambient pollution
  • climate change
  • emissions fees
  • weather

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