Giving Compass' Take:

· Zarir de Vitre discusses the impact of air pollution on human and environmental health and the need for action now. Although India's National Clean Air Programme was a step in the right direction, the author calls for more framework and a better plan for implementation.

· What can donors do to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions? Where can you begin combatting air pollution? 

· Read more about air pollution and how it is affecting your health.

The theme for World Environment Day 2019 is Beat Air Pollution – one that is extremely pertinent for India. While air pollution is a global problem – the World Health Organization (WHO) states that only one in 10 people on Earth breathes safe air – in India, the situation is rapidly worsening for both human and climate health.

Air pollution is also proving to be expensive for us economically – it cost the country the equivalent of 8.5 percent of its GDP in 2013.

In 2017 alone 1.24 million deaths, or 12.5 percent of the total deaths recorded that year, were attributed to air pollution. Of those, 4,80,000 died from household or indoor pollution. Average life expectancy in India in 2017 would have been higher by 1.7 years if air quality were at acceptable healthy levels.

While air pollution affects everyone, it does not do so equally. Factors such as age, gender, income, and location play a significant role in intensifying the vulnerabilities to air pollution.

In the case of pregnant women, exposure to air pollution during their first trimester increases both stunting as well as wasting for children aged below five years.

Read the full article about air pollution by Zarir de Vitre at India Development Review.