India had more people dying every day as a result of outdoor air pollution in 2015 than China – a first since 1990.
According to a Greenpeace India report released here on Wednesday, India overtook China in the number of deaths caused by air pollution last year. Analysing the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) data compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, the report found that India had 3,283 premature deaths due to ambient air pollution every day, as opposed to China’s 3,233 per day.
The number of deaths per day due to air pollution in India has risen from 2,139 per day in 1990 to 3,238 in 2015.
Sunil Dahiya, a campaigner with Greenpeace India, said that GBD data substantiated Greenpeace’s findings earlier this year that the average exposure to particulate matter was higher for Indians than Chinese for the first time this century.
After toxic levels of particulate matter between 2005 and 2011, China implemented some harsh measures to curb air pollution. While, on the other hand, India’s pollution levels have been increasing every year, making 2015 the worst, said Mr. Dahiya.
“It clearly indicates that China’s strong measures to tackle pollution have contributed to the year-on- year air quality improvement on record, while in contrast, India’s pollution levels have increased over the past decade,” he said.
He added that the authorities in India must take immediate steps to halt this upward trend.