Particulate matter Current Affairs - 2020

Quick Facts: Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) of Gujarat

The Gujarat government has launched country’s first ‘Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)’ which is being described as world’s first market for trading in Particulate Matter (PM) emissions. ETS was launched in Surat ETS) to encourage and incentivize the industrial units to cut air pollution.

Even though trading mechanisms for pollution control do exist in many parts of world but none of them is for PM emissions.

What is Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)?

It is a regulatory tool that is aimed at reducing the pollution load in an area and at the same time minimising the cost of compliance for the industry. ETS is a market in which traded commodity is particulate matter emissions.

The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) sets a cap on total emission load from all industries. Thereby, various industries can buy and sell the ability to emit particulate matter, by trading permits (in kilograms) under this cap and for this reason ETS is also called as a cap-and-trade market.

Functioning of ETS: Under the cap-and-trade market, the GPCB will first define the total mass of pollution that can be released into air over a certain fixed period by all industrial units or factories collectively. This will be equivalent to the cap (or limit) and the permits would then become units which could be bought and sold between traders under the ETS.

Why launched in Surat? Since Surat is a densely-populated industrial centre and textiles and dyeing houses there produce heavy air pollution. Also, industries in Surat had already installed Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems that makes it possible to estimate the mass of PM being released.

12 NCR districts, Agra switch to BS-VI Fuel

The Indian Oil Corporation has stated that Supply of ultra-clean BS-VI grade petrol and diesel has begun in cities adjoining the national capital. The rest of the country will follow suit from April 2020. New Delhi is the first city in the country to leapfrog from BS-IV grade petrol and diesel to BS-VI fuels.

Bharat Stage Norms

Bharat Stage norms are standards set by the government to regulate emission of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The norms set the limit for the release of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter (PM) and sulphur oxides from vehicles using internal combustion engines. The Bharat stage norms are based on Euro norms.

Difference between BS-IV and BS-VI Norms
  • The extent of sulphur is the major difference between the Bharat stage IV and Bharat stage VI norms.
  • Bharat stage IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur whereas Bharat Stage-VI grade fuel only has 10 ppm sulphur.
  • Bharat Stage VI will bring PM in diesel cars down by 80 per cent when compared to Bharat stage IV.
  • Bharat Stage VI will bring down nitrogen oxides from diesel cars by 70 per cent and in petrol cars by 25 per cent.

In 2015 India had decided to leapfrog to BS-VI emission norm compliant petrol and diesel from April 2020, from the BS-IV grade by skipping BS-V norms. While the deadline for the rest of the country stands, the same for Delhi, which is choking on thick toxic smog, was brought forward.