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Tags: india | pollution | climate | coal

Air Pollution So Bad in India's Capital, Citywide Lockdown May Be Imminent

Air Pollution So Bad in India's Capital, Citywide Lockdown May Be Imminent
People walk near the presidential palace amid heavy smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 15, 2021. (Money SHARMA / FP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 November 2021 08:03 PM

India's Supreme Court called for a lockdown in New Delhi on Monday over air quality that was "off the charts" of AQI's 500-point pollution scale last week, according to NPR.

During a hearing in the National Capital Territory (NCT), the union territory which administers New Delhi, justices ordered authorities to close offices in the area and halt all nonessential travel on roads in the region surrounding the city.

Chief Minister of the NCT, Arvind Kejriwal, has indicated his willingness to impose a pollution-related lockdown but has sought support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet.

"Kejriwal has called an emergency meeting today to tackle air pollution. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, health minister Satyendar Jain, environment minister Gopal Rai, and chief secretary have been asked to be present," a senior government official said, per the Hindustan Times.

Following the court's ruling, authorities advised residents to limit outdoor activities and told offices to cut vehicle use by at least 30%, but have yet to enforce a strict lockdown,

The NCT's schools and construction sites are already closed this week. Some of the schools had only just reopened for the first time in nearly 20 months due to COVID-19, NPR reported.

India notoriously pushed for a watered-down final declaration at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow over the weekend. The final resolution called for coal to be "phased down" rather than "phased out," angering some at the conference.

"India's last-minute change to the language to phase down but not phase out coal is quite shocking," Australian climate scientist Bill Hare said, according to NPR. "India has long been a blocker on climate action, but I have never seen it done so publicly."

India receives around 70% of its electricity from coal and has pledged to reduce that amount. Modi predicted India's emissions will be net-zero by 2070, twenty years behind the United States and Europe.

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India's Supreme Court called for a lockdown in New Delhi on Monday over air quality that was "off the charts" of AQI's 500-point pollution scale last week, according to NPR.
india, pollution, climate, coal
314
2021-03-15
Monday, 15 November 2021 08:03 PM
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