Greenpeace Report on Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Emission - India Ranks First

Sulphur dioxide hotspots in india
Source: India today

According to an analysis by Greenpeace, India is the largest emitter of SO2 in the world with more than 15% of all the anthropogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2)  hotspots detected by NASA OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.

sulfur dioxide is a colorless, pungent-smelling gas.

The largest source of so2 is the burning of fossil fuels in power plant and industrial facilities. Other sources of SO2 emissions include processes such as extracting metal from ore;  running of locomotives, ships and other vehicles that burn fuel with a high sulfur content, along with natural sources such as volcanoes.

The total amount of SO2 emissions from India is 4,586 kilotonnes per year, Russia comes second with 3683 kilotonnes per year and china third with 2578 kilotonnes per year
countries so2 emission hotspots in 2018
 Source:  Indian Express

December 2015, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had introduced for the first time SO2 emission limits for coal power plants with an initial deadline to retrofit technology to control SO2 emissions from power generation by December 2017. At the request of the Ministry of Power and power plant operators, this was later extended till December 2019 for power plants in Delhi-NCR and till 2022 for most other power plants across the country through a Supreme Court order.(Greenpeace)

Singrauli district from Madhya Pradesh topped the list with 507 kilotonnes emission per year, followed by talcher with 347 kilotonnes.
indian sulpher dioxide hotspot chart
Source:  TOI

Norilsk smelter complex in Russia being the largest SO2 emission hotspot in the world, followed by Kriel in Mpumalanga province in South Africa and Zagros in Iran.

World suphur dioxide hotspots chart
Source: Bloomberg

China reduced their SO2 emissions through stringent emission norms and implementation of technologies like FGD.

The analysis drives home the fact that air pollution is a huge public health concern. 91% of the world’s population live in areas where outdoor air pollution exceeds guideline limits by the World Health Organization (WHO) and as a result, 4.2 million people die prematurely every year only due to ambient air pollution. (Greenpeace)

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