Clearing the Air Seminar Series: 'Power Plants as a source of Air Pollution in India'

25 May 2018
Clearing the Air Seminar Series: 'Power Plants as a source of Air Pollution in India'

Watch the full video (above) of the eighth event in the Cleaning the Air Seminar Series on ‘Power Plants as a source of Air Pollution in India’ held on 11 May 2018. The panelists were Vinuta Gopal, Priyavrat Bhati and Ritwick Dutta, and the panel was moderated by Shibani Ghosh.  Sulphates, nitrates, mercury and particulate matter emitted from power plants contribute significantly to air pollution in the country. The IIT Kanpur study (2016) estimates that coal, fly ash and secondary particles from power plants and industries together contribute 35% to 41% to Delhi’s air pollution. The panel discussed the scale of the problem; and described the governing regulatory eco-system. It analysed the policy formulation process for the 2015 emission norms, and why there was limited compliance. It also deliberated on the role of the courts – the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court – in regulating pollution from power plants.

The question and answer session that followed the presentations by panelists can be accessed here.

Videos and other information about previous events in the Series can be found here

About the Panelists

Vinuta Gopal is a co-founder and director at Asar Social Impact Advisors Pvt Ltd, a consultancy company set up to provide advice, support and research data to forge an enabling environment for change on social and environmental issues. She has more than 15 years of experience in campaigning and advocacy and led the climate and energy team in Greenpeace India during its formative years, leading them to some significant victories and new areas of work. During a difficult period in Greenpeace India, she also headed the organisation as the interim Executive Director and Program Director. 

Priyavrat Bhati is Programme Director - Energy at Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi. He led the team that published a study of the coal-based power sector, Heat on Power, which proposed several policy reforms and tighter pollution norms to improve the environmental and operating performance of the sector. He has closely worked with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and central regulators to draft new environment standards for the thermal power sector and to improve the monitoring and compliance framework. He has also advised policy makers on energy and environment issues in other countries including Indonesia, South Africa and Tanzania. Prior to joining CSE, he spent over two decades in investment banking.

Ritwick Dutta is an environmental lawyer and founder of the Legal Initiative of Forest and Environment (LIFE), an organisation working on issues of transparency and accountability in the field of environment protection. He has been involved in several environmental cases challenging regulatory approvals granted to projects and highlighting environmental impacts of development activities. Recently, he has been asked by the Supreme Court to assist it on the case relating to power plant pollution standards.

The discussion was moderated by Shibani Ghosh, Fellow, Centre for Policy Research.

This was the eighth event in the Clearing the Air Seminar Series, organised by the Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment (ICEE) at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). The series aims to promote sustained and informed public understanding around the data, impacts, sources and policy challenges involved in clearing Delhi's air. While it focuses on the context of Delhi, the series also reflects on the fact that the problem extends far beyond Delhi. The seminar series presents the work of experts in a range of areas to help promote informed public discussion about what changes are needed, what is possible, and how to get it done. Clearing the air in terms of knowledge and public information, we hope, will make a small contribution toward actually clearing Delhi's air. Information about previous events held as part of the series can be found here.

The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.