Impact of standards on premature mortality and emissions: India in global context

Published: 2013.09.26

Josh Miller, Ray Minjares

Approximately ten percent of all years of life lost from exposure to vehicle emissions around the world occur in India. Without new limits on vehicle emissions and fuel sulfur content, the number of early deaths caused by emissions of fine particles in urban areas will nearly quadruple by 2030. New emission limits on vehicles in India could cut the number of early deaths by 84 percent compared to business-as-usual in 2030, adding 6.2 million years of life cumulatively through 2030.

These are among the findings detailed in the next publication of the ICCT’s global transportation roadmap series, forthcoming in October 2013. The report finds that on a global scale the health impacts from vehicle emissions in urban areas will increase early deaths by 150% in 2030, or 4.4 million years of life lost, unless governments act to curb those emissions. India alone could potentially realize about one quarter (6.2 million) of the cumulative 25 million years of life that could be gained from all new vehicle emission and fuel quality controls throughout the world.

The Auto Fuel Vision and Policy Committee of India is currently deliberating over vehicle- emission and fuel-quality standards through the year 2025. The rate of progress toward implementing world-class limits on new vehicle emissions and fuel sulfur levels in India will determine whether national trends in the health impacts associated with vehicle emissions worsen or improve.