Officials in India's capital, New Delhi, have declared a public health emergency due to the severe air pollution.
Prof Guy Marks, Chief Investigator of CAR comments..."I have witnessed, first hand, the dreadful air pollution event affecting Delhi at the moment. Air pollution is the greatest environmental threat to human health. It is estimated that there were 4.9 million deaths globally that were attribute to air pollution in 2017, 1.24 million of these deaths were in India. It is a global emergency that we need to tackle. It causes illness and death due to heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, asthma and other lung disease, and, in the longer term, cancer. The solution requires multi-sectoral approaches involving governments, the private sector and individuals.
The causes of air pollution are complex. Some people are saying that the current crisis in Delhi is due to agricultural burning of crop residues in a neighbouring state. However, industrial pollution, traffic (motor vehicle), and domestic burning for cooking and incineration also play a role. In other settings, such as Indonesia and Brazil, burning for land clearing is a major cause or air pollution. In each setting, we need research to better identify the main causes or sources of air pollution and then we need policy and enforcement to mitigate those sources. Without action, the global emergency will continue unabated."
Here is what other experts have said.