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Delhi grapples with cold waves, toxic air

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

The winters have finally started gripping the capital. The is likely to hover around 13-degree Celsius on Thursday morning. The minimum may drop further by evening but any significant change in is ruled out for the next few days.

The weather experts believe that the day will be engulfed with shallow fog and mist will also be seen during the morning hours. Light winds with the wind speed of 8 to 10 kilometers per hour will continue to blow from the west or west-north-west direction.

The chances are very minimal that the wind will pick up the pace, thus particulate matter will continue to be trapped in the air, increasing the level of pollution in the air.

On Wednesday, witnessed the coldest morning of the season with the minimum temperature dipping to 8-degree Celsius, a notch below normal. The humidity level was recorded at 97 per cent

According to the state-run SAFAR, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the capital docked at 351, which falls under the very poor category.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.

At Dhirpur, the AQI was 344 at 8:30 am, while in Mathura Road area the air quality dipped to 'hazardous' category at 415. Furthermore, AQI near Pitampura, Airport, Terminal 3 and University stood at 291, 285 and 248 respectively.

According to the latest report published by the (WHO), as many as one million lives in the world can be saved if all the countries reduce the menace of air pollution in accordance with the Agreement by 2050. WHO presented this report at the Climate Change Conference (COP24) in on December 5 this year.

"The Agreement is potentially the strongest health agreement of this century," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of WHO. "The evidence is clear that climate change is already having a serious impact on human lives and health. It threatens the basic elements we all need for good health-clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter-and will undermine decades of progress in global health. We can't afford to delay action any further," the report reads.

"When health is taken into account, climate change mitigation is an opportunity, not a cost," added Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health.

The report further revealed that air pollution alone kills as many as 7 million people in the world every year and costs welfare losses worth US $5.11 trillion. The 15 countries, which emit the most amount of greenhouse gas, spend 4 per cent of their (GDP) on health impacts of air pollution. This is when actions to meet the goals cost around one per cent of global GDP.

WHO has also penned down a certain suggestion for the country and stated that they should count on health while doing a cost-benefit analysis of climate change mitigation. It also proposes fiscal incentives be used motivate sectors to reduce emissions.

In its report, WHO also added that the participants must also promote the role of cities and sub-governments in climate action. Lastly, the WHO says that the fiscal policy must also include health implications of mitigation and adaptation measures.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 10:25 IST
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