Total damage to India because of environmental degradation is US $ 80 billion, says first such national-level economic evaluation made by World Bank
Introducing policy interventions such as environmental taxes could potentially be used to yield positive net environmental benefits with minimal economic costs for India. According to a new World Bank report released on Thursday, India could realize an additional benefit of around US $59 billion with a PM10 tax.
The latest number crunching by the World Bank is an eye-opener. Its evaluation of the damage to health from a gamut of environmental factors—including air pollution, inadequate water supply and poor sanitation—shows outdoor air pollution takes the maximum toll in India. This is followed by indoor air pollution.
The combined cost of outdoor and indoor air pollution is the highest annual burden on India’s economy, according to the bank’s report—Diagnostic Assessment of Select Environmental Challenges in India—released in New Delhi this week. The report has considered both pollution and natural resource degradation. Outdoor air pollution accounts for 29 per cent, followed by indoor air pollution (23 per cent).
The report states that higher cost of outdoor and indoor air pollution is driven by high exposure of the young and productive urban population to particulate matter pollution. That leads to higher rates of deaths due to cardiopulmonary and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases among adults (see box).
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