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Here’s why Indian businesses should not ignore ‘pollution pandemic’

The rising level of air pollution in India is not just bad for health, but equally harmful for businesses operating in the country. A study conducted by consulting firm Dalberg Advisors in partnership with Clean Energy Air Fund and Confederation Indian Industry (CII) estimates that Indian businesses suffer a cumulative loss of Rs 7 lakh crore or $95 billion, equivalent to 3 per cent of India’s GDP, annually.

The report, titled 'The Silent Pandemic', suggests that India is “in the midst of a pollution pandemic” citing a World Air Quality report from 2019. According to the report, India ranked 5 out of 98 countries in 2019 based on weighted average PM2.5 concentration levels, behind Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Afghanistan.

“Twenty-one of the world’s 30 cities with the worst air pollution are in India. New Delhi has the poorest air quality among cities globally, with PM2.5 concentration levels nearly ten times the WHO target. PM2.5 levels have remained alarmingly high over the last five years,” the report noted.

“Air pollution costs Indian businesses Rs 7 lakh crore or $95 billion every year,” it added.


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