Understanding nexus of air pollution and sustainability.


Byline: Rohma Zafar

The consistently glooming economic world to override the crises of unemployment, social miseries, etc has left a remarkable and pronounced adverse impact on the global environment. In meeting the agenda of economic stability we have somewhere knot strong ties and permanent bonds with environmental degradation. In the present hour the effect of the interplay between income and environmental degradation is most prominently visualized when air quality is considered. Air, that lays foundation of life on earth is under critical stress as imperceptibly its being overloaded by pollutants from multiple sources including vehicular emissions, emissions from industrial flues and furnaces, power plants, etc contributing to the introduction of numerous hazardous emissions containing COx, SOx, NOx, etc along with particulate matter.

This burning issue of air pollution is not only posing biggest environmental health risks in terms of acute and chronic disease resulting in loss of 6 million lives annually but also toll burden on economic sector by damaging resources, reducing the output of many productive ecosystem, reducing labor efficiency and much more Air pollution is a hot topic of the recent decade in low and middle income countries-especially Africa and Asia where the air quality of approximately 98% of the countries are far beyond the limits and guidelines prescribed by WHO (UN environment programme).

Pakistan being a developing and most urbanized state of the South Asian region is also under taken by the concern of environmental pollution particularly air pollution due to increasing trends of industrialization coupled with increase in urbanization and vehicular movement by many folds as a consequence of increasing population and increased economic productivity. Burning of the fossil fuels and vehicular movement in the country makes 90% contribution to the polluted air causing intense damage to the quality of life in all of its major cities.

Pakistan possess one of the largest coal deposits-184,123 billion tones which is even not fully utilized but still play a role in reducing air quality due to emissions of methane-a potent GHG. Dust and smoke particles in Pakistan are generally twice the world average and five times higher than in the developed world. Pakistan ranks 3rd among the top five countries with the highest mortality rates due to air pollution.Impacts of air pollution are found even though disproportionate among...

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