UPSC PRELIMS 2020 : India biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide

India biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide

Topic : India biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide

Topic in Syllabus: Ecology & Environment

 

Context:

India biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide

A new report by Greenpeace India shows the country is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide in the world, with more than 15% of all the anthropogenic sulphur dioxide hotspots.

This was detected by the NASA OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.

 

Reason:

The vast majority of coal-based power plants in India lack flue-gas desulphurization technology to reduce air pollution.

 

Emission Hotspots:

The largest sulphur dioxide emission hotspots have been found in Russia, South Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Serbia.

 

In India:

The Singrauli, Neyveli, Talcher, Jharsuguda, Korba, Kutch, Chennai, Ramagundam, Chandrapur and Koradi thermal power plants or clusters are the major emission hotspots in India.

 

Steps Taken:

  • Of the world’s major emitters, China and the United States have been able to reduce emissions rapidly.
  • They have achieved this feat by switching to clean energy sources.
  • China, in particular, has achieved success by dramatically improving emission standards and enforcement for sulphur dioxide control.
  • In a first step to combat pollution levels, the MoEFCC introduced, for the first time, sulphur dioxide emission limits for coal-fired power plants in December 2015.
  • But the deadline for the installation of flue-gas desulphurization (FGD) in power plants has been extended from 2017 to 2022.

 

NASA data

  • Air pollutant emissions from power plants and other industries continue to increase in India, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the report says.
  • In Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Turkey, emissions are currently not increasing — however, there is not a lot of progress in tackling them either.

 

Sample Question:

Taj Mahal at Agra may be damaged by:

(a) Sulphur dioxide

(b) Chlorine

(c) Hydrogen

(d) Oxygen

 

Answer: a