India's vehicle emissions control program

Published Tue, 2013.11.05 | By

Gaurav Bansal and Anup Bandivadekar

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A comprehensive survey, setting India’s policy options in the context of international experience and assessing technology costs versus health and economic benefits under several scenarios.

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Rising transportation activity—the ever-increasing demand to move more people and goods further and faster—is both a cause and an effect of India’s rapid economic growth. As necessary as the increase in mobility may be to boost Indians’ standard of living, there are harmful consequences associated with it. These include an increased reliance on imported fossil fuels, which are responsible for climate change, and rising emissions of pollutants that cause disease or, all too often, premature death. India needs policies to manage the rise in transportation activity so as to maximize the benefits of increased mobility while minimizing if not eliminating those harmful consequences.

With that in mind, the ICCT set out to conduct an objective, in-depth analysis of the past successes and future prospects of the vehicular emission control program in India. This report brings together the results of that comprehensive study.

The report evaluates India’s program through six lenses:

  • New vehicle and engine emission standards
  • Fuel quality standards
  • Vehicle compliance and enforcement programs
  • Fuel inspection and compliance programs
  • Alternative fuels and new-energy vehicle policies
  • Fuel-efficiency standards and labeling

Each chapter compares and contrasts current standards and practices in India with corresponding practices in the United States, the European Union, Japan, China, Brazil, and other countries or regions as appropriate. Based on that comparison, each chapter identifies barriers to progress and offers recommendations for improvement.

The report evaluates the impact of India’s vehicle emission control program quantitatively. Specifically, it estimates the vehicle emissions avoided as a result of ambitious policy actions undertaken in India over the past ten years. Since the primary motivation for reducing emissions is to protect public health, the report also estimates the premature deaths avoided and the economic benefits realized as a result of those emission reductions.

In short, this document is an in-depth review of India’s existing motor vehicle emissions control program for both conventional and greenhouse gases (GHG). Based on a historic assessment and an analysis of international best practices, it makes recommendations about future policies. It is intended to be a comprehensive guide for policymakers and stakeholders looking to analyze India’s past and present in order to make informed decisions for the future.

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