How technology can help India breathe more easily

smog

(Sophia Valkova, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Nitin Bansal, Managing Director India and Head of Network Solutions, Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson


Pollution, a major contributor to climate change, is a growing concern in India, as it is around the world. The country faces one of the highest disease burdens from air pollution in the world, with an estimated 100% of the population living in areas with PM2.5 concentrations – pollution particles that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres – above the World Health Organization’s guidelines.

India is home to more than 17% of the world’s population, making it the world’s second most populous country. That population is increasingly migrating from the countryside to cities – it’s estimated that approximately 25-30 people migrate every minute to cities from the rural areas in India. Delhi, the national capital, grew from a meagre 1 million people in 1950 to a staggering 28 million people by 2018 – that’s more than half of the combined population of all national capitals in the ASEAN region. With further development and population growth, increases in ambient air pollution are anticipated.

In January 2019, the government launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), a five-year action plan to curb air pollution by building a pan-India air quality monitoring network and improving citizen awareness. Delhi has certainly made consistent strides in the past few years to control air pollution levels, but while these past months have been encouraging in terms of the level of pollution, it’s not tme to remove the anti-pollution masks. Even now in Delhi the average PM2.5 and PM10 levels of pollution are two- to three-times higher than satisfactory levels.

ICT for pollution control

Technology has the potential to be a vital enabler to curb pollution across the globe. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, ICT solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% by 2030. Areas where ICT can make an impact include transportation, electricity grids, manufacturing, agriculture and land use. In addition, as ICT is a carbon-lean sector that accounts for less than 2% of global CO2 emissions, it presents a viable means for cities and countries to reduce their carbon footprints.

At Ericsson, we believe that public-private partnerships can play a crucial role in addressing climate change and are willing to do our part. We are, for instance, working on a collaborative project with academics, industry and the public sector to provide electrified transportation in Sweden, which not only provides smart transport solutions but is also emission-free. Air quality measurements can also help identify and prioritize the sources and locations of greatest concern – benchmarking against standards and guidelines – as well as evaluating the effectiveness of actions to reduce emissions.

In Gujarat, a “cap and trading” programme has been launched to curb particulate air pollution. It’s a collaboration between industry, local municipal authorities, the University of Chicago and Harvard University. In this programme, the government sets a cap on emissions and allows factories to buy and sell permits to stay below the cap. Under the emissions trading system, industries must hold a permit for each unit of particulate that they emit and must comply with the prescribed standard of 150 milligrams per cubic metre of particulate matter released into the atmosphere.

India

What is the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2019?

Under the theme, Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World, the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2019 will convene key leaders from government, the private sector, academia and civil society on 3-4 October to accelerate the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and boost the region’s dynamism.

Hosted in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the aim of the Summit is to enhance global growth by promoting collaboration among South Asian countries and the ASEAN economic bloc.

The meeting will address strategic issues of regional significance under four thematic pillars:

• The New Geopolitical Reality – Geopolitical shifts and the complexity of our global system

• The New Social System – Inequality, inclusive growth, health and nutrition

• The New Ecological System – Environment, pollution and climate change

• The New Technological System – The Fourth Industrial Revolution, science, innovation and entrepreneurship

Discover a few ways the Forum is creating impact across India.

Read our guide to how to follow #ies19 across our digital channels. We encourage followers to post, share, and retweet by tagging our accounts and by using our official hashtag.

Become a Member or Partner to participate in the Forum’s year-round annual and regional events. Contact us now.

It is important to understand that controlling air pollution levels requires constant monitoring. Again, technology such as IoT can play a major role here. Ericsson, in partnership with IIT Kanpur, has deployed NarrowBand-IoT sensor networks at strategic locations in Delhi to monitor air pollution levels. The real-time data collected by the sensors is collated for analysis with the aim of increasing awareness, supporting policy intervention and allowing corrective actions to reduce air pollution in the city to be taken.

For a better tomorrow

ICT is transforming lives and is an essential enabler of sustainable solutions. As connectivity and innovative technologies become widespread, the potential for ICT to solve problems will only grow. However, pollution control is a continuous process, requiring vision, ongoing measurement and the continual rebalancing of complex factors such as migration, industrial policies and the willingness of communities to address CO2 emissions.

Only by recognizing the fundamental social transformations required – and by involving our communities in defining the way forward – will we be able to steer these unique technological resources towards a better future. Armed with technology, we can surely help the world breathe better. The onus is on all of us.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief pays tribute to ‘enduring contributions’ to regional, international diplomacy of Oman’s late Sultan Qaboos

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

Good Governance in developing modern quality infrastructure systems

Parental leave: why we can’t wait a century for equal rights for women

Is the European Banking Union an impossible task?

How to Create a Clear Vision For the Future of Healthcare

5 ways to reduce risk while fuelling IT innovation and growth

A hot autumn after a cool summer for Europe

Peru is building a new international airport near Machu Picchu – and archaeologists are worried

Coronavirus: Commission mobilises €123 million for research and innovation to combat the threat of variants

European Young Innovators Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: Europe for StartUps, vision 2020

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

How to build an entrepreneurial university

Universal access to energy is a major challenge for the Arab world. Here’s why

We finally have a life-saving vaccine for Ebola

Greece may offer to China a European gateway

Death as a Global Public Health Issue

‘No safe level of air pollution’: Major study links cardiac arrests with fine particulate matter exposure

There are more than 1 billion guns in the world and this is who owns them

An economist explains the pros and cons of globalization

This is what chief economists think about the global economy right now

Do electronic cigarettes produce adverse health effects?

State aid: Commission refers Greece to Court for failure to recover incompatible State aid from mining company Larco

Donald Tusk presents EU summit conclusions for last time

Greta Thunberg at #DavosAgenda: Here’s how climate experts responded to her speech

Conditions deteriorating alarmingly in Yemen, warns senior UN official

The Commission offers exit from the EU budget stalemate

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

The EU has to prove it can remain one piece

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

Drastic deterioration in security across Burkina Faso as 70,000 flee their homes in past two months, UN warns

Eurozone again whipped by Greek winds

Gender inequities in the medical field: an urgent issue

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

The unique frequency of felling the gab on women’s rights by medical students

Pakistan has just planted over a billion trees

Technology can help solve the climate crisis – but it will need our help

Kazakhstan continues to push for a nuclear-free world

Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS: Empowering the Digital Economy

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

Google case: A turning point in competition rules enforcement

What we can learn from Asia’s courts of the future

How technology is leading us to new climate change solutions

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

Eurasian Union begins: the giant modelled on the EU is Moscow’s biggest challenge

5 ways to bridge the global health worker shortage

What are plastics and why do they matter? An explainer

How COVID-19 shows the urgent need to address the cyber poverty gap

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

Is decentralization a panacea for development?

The next Google in biotech: will it be Chinese?

Understanding and demystifying the new outbreak of Coronavirus

My disability, my identity

Intervene, don’t overthink – the new mantra of systems design

These are the cities with the biggest carbon footprints

G20 LIVE: the EU trade gold rush continues as EU and Australia agree to launch Free Trade Agreement (FTA) live from Antalya Turkey

Everything you need to know about water

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s