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Research Last Updated: Jun 17, 2019 - 9:48:55 AM


Microplastics, Toxic Smogs and Heat Waves are New Norm in South Asia
By E. Kalair, N. Abas and N. Khan, STMU Islamabad, 12/6/19
Jun 16, 2019 - 9:52:03 AM

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Arctic Ice studyshows every litter of sea ice contains 12,000 microplastic pieces in it. Scientists fear the oceans will drown into plastics, taking us also with them. A study shows about 8 million pieces of plastics find their way into oceans everyday. There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Nearly 80,000 tons plastics are floating in Pacific and 269,000 tonnes in all oceans [Nadeem 2019].

Plastic pollutions affects marine species, birds and humans. A huge ball of 40kg plastic was found in belly of a large fish. Everybody eats 250g plastic annually. Many countries are planning to ban plastic bags and convert previous plastics into bricks. Plastics enter into human bodies through air, food and water. Our stomaches and lungs are the ultimate destination of plastics.

More than 90% of the most polluted cities in world are located in India and china. India is the most polluted in SAARC countries. New Delhi, Lahore and Dhaka become gas chambers in smoggy days that is now considered 5th season in India and Pakistan. It is time to apply polluter pays principle at local and regional level to deal with smog and air pollution pandemonium. Air pollution varies from 104 to 135 in most Indian and two Pakistani cities [Third Pole 2019].

Heat wave are increasing in duration, intensity and frequency wordwide. Rampant rise in heat waves in India and Pakistan are a new phenomenon that may be attributed to stubble burning practices, coal power plants, diesel combustion, population rise and climate change. Air pollution peaks during Diwali festival in India that links pollution to their culture. It is time to invent nuclear fusion starsin laboratories and artificial photosynthesis leaves in addition to super crystals. It is time to move ahead of sun, wind and water deities. Return of Ra is a serious threat for Ibrahamic religions.

Fresh air, clean water and nuitrient food are essential for healthy living. Air pollution problem, especially smog, has no Montreal Convention and Kyoto Protocol type accords on its back like water.  Polluter-pays principle is often restricted to the source within country, yet has potential to extend its application on regional transboundary air pollutants. International Environment Law mentions the polluter-pay principle without any legitimate power to mitigate the transboundary air pollution hazards. Mongolia, Botswana, and Pakistan are ranked as badly polluted countries, although sources of somg and air pollutants are coal plants and stubble burning practices in upwind countries.

India produce 60% of electricity using coal-fired power plants. Coal plants and paddy residue burning in winter months emitt harmful pollutants into atmosphere. Regional winds drive upwind smog and green gases into adjacent downwind Pakistan. There are local sources of stubble burning in Pakistan yet major pollution flux comes from eastern Punjab. Air pollution externality problem can only be solved either by regional cooperation or global environment laws which donot exist. Akin to water contamination laws, polluter-pays principle may be extended to transboundary air pollutants to compensate the affected people in both countries. Air pollutation is a leading cause of deaths in Asia.

Air pollution may be defined as any form of contamination of the atmosphere which disturbs the natural composition and chemistry of the air. Human activities are responsible for many types of damages to natural world out of which addition of hazardous pollutants into air, water and soil directly affect humans. It is easy to stop polluting the natural environment by cooperative regional control (or zero emission production policy) rather than removing pollutants from oceans and atmosphere.

Air is common human asset that must be protected by not polluting it. Polluting air by burning wheat left over in April-May  and paddy stubble in October-November is a traditional practice in India and Pakistan. India being bigger in area and population injects mor pollution in air than Pakistan. At per capita scales both may have equal rate of pollution hurling in atmosphere. Environments focus their attention on the air pollutants and water contaminants as they keep moving across the globe.

Air pollutants include hydrocarbons (HCs), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter, aerosols, and trace metals, etc. (Murphy, 2005; N. Abas et al., 2018). Naturally, carbon monoxide is produced by volcanic eruptions, natural gas emissions and incomplete oxidation of methane in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is produced by vehicles, boilers, and furnaces in industries under the conditions of complete combustion of carbon (N Abas & Khan, 2016).

Nitrogen oxides are produced naturally by bacterial vegetation and artificially by combustion of coal, oil, and gas.  Oxides of sulfur are usually produced by volcanic eruptions (67%) and oxidation of sulfur-containing organic compounds but artificially by combustion of coal, furnace/diesel oil and other fossil fuels in thermal power plants, fire kilns, and petrochemical industries (N. Abas, Kalair, & Khan, 2015). Silicon dioxide is produced during stone cutting, pottery, glass and cement manufacturing. Shrubs and trees give off most of the hydrocarbon foliage naturally. Biodegradation of plants and decomposition of animals produces many pollutants. Flowers and microbes spread pollen grains and fungal spores, bacteria, and viruses cause allergy and infection. Human activities like the burning of rice, wheat, and cotton straw pollute the air.

Combustion of fossil fuels produce unburned carbon and hydrocarbons due to inefficient oxidation process. The lead compounds are produced by exhausting fumes from combustion of leaded petrol or oil in internal combustion engines of the vehicles. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) are used in aerosol sprays, foams, deodorants, air conditioners, refrigerators and heatpump machines. Carbon dioxide, methane, CFCs, nitrogen oxides and others constitute 49, 18, 14, 6 and 13% of overall green gases emissions, respectively.

Sources of water pollution include livestock waste, oil spillage, detergents, pesticides, industrial waste effluents and leather tanneries. Domestic solid wastes consist of papers, vegetables, plastics, woods, glass, rubber, leather, textiles, metals and food residues. Solid waste management scientists suggest dumping of debris, explosive, garbage, radioactive and biochemical waste into the seas so as to utilize the larger part of Earth (71%). This dumping of waste may become problematic because of constant traversing of oceanic waters. Thermoelectric incinerators seem a better solution for power crisis-hit countries to dispose of municipal waste in exchange for watts.

Smog is a type of air pollutant which is formed by smoke and fog. Smog is produced by burning wood, coal, and oil for energy generation for domestic and commercial use. The sources of smog are traffic smoke, dust, and industrial emissions. Building emulsion paints also emit vapors that result in an increased severity of smog in residential areas. Smog and haze cause solar light dimming but accelerate glacier melting rates through heat absorption by black carbon particles stuck in ice. Haze and smog often cause a problem for Chinese Authorities to suspend the flights due to limited visibility. Volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 2011 and Indonesian Sumatra Forest Fires in 1997 caused environmental chaos in Asia especially for Singapore and Malaysia.

Air quality standards recommend reducing annually respirable suspended particular matters PM10 (70g/m3) and PM2.5 (35g/m3) levels to standard 20g/m3 (PM10) and 10g/m3 (PM2.5) levels. The current daily pollutant load levels of PM10 (150g/m3) and PM2.5 (75g/m3) should be reduced down to required standards 50g/m3 (PM10) and 25g/m3 (PM2.5) levels.

India and China are running a race in economic and population growrh. Atmospheric brown clouds (ABC) phenomenon kills thousands of people every year in China and India. Deaths are caused by indoor biomass and coal smoke, but outdoor smog is also responsible for at least 120,000 persons per year in India (Greenpeace, 2013) and 1.2 million persons in China (Wong, 2013).

WHO has estimated annual death rate of 1,619,000 young children from respiratory diseases in developing countries (Brunekreef, 2010).  Smoking causes harm to the active as well passive smokers, air pollution causes damage to everybody. Air pollution is the fifth cause of death in Indian Territory which seems to be equally valid for China too (Chauhan, 2013). Air pollution from coal fired power plants in India and China affects their own citizens as well as neighbors. There is an urgent need for new transboundary international environment law to hold back the coal burning nations so that human health and aquatic life can be protected. Concerned neighbors must may resolve their transboundary air pollution issues cooperatively and harmoniously.


Europe recognized air pollution issue long time ago (Berge, Bartnicki, Olendrzynski, & Tsyro, 1999), but it emerged in Asia during the 1990s after rapid economic growth in China and India. NO2 emissions in Europe and America flattened at 25 million tons per year from 1970 to 1995 which increased in Asia, from 10 to 27 million tons per year during 1975-1995 (Alles, 2013).  China and India consume huge amounts of oil, gas, and coal for transportation and production of electricity .

Natural wind and water flows transfer pollutants from upper industrialized states to neighboring lower riparian countries. Transboundary pollutants from industrialized nations through natural winds may affect the contiguous underdeveloped states in terms of extra health expenses and loss of crops productivity because hazardous pollutants cause deforestation and damage to human health. Transboundary hazardous pollutants are transported by dry smoggier winds as well as rains showering sulfuric and nitric acids. International law, as well as common sense principle, requires sovereign states to be responsible for transnational air pollution, originating from their territory (Okowa, 2000).

Many countries are a secondary victim of upwind pollution sources but they hesitate to discuss the matter at the diplomatic level. Transboundary air pollution problems do exist between China, Japan and Hong Kong (Lam, Wang, Wu, & Li, 2005), Canada, America, and Mexico, Africa, Europe and Finland (Hov, 1984), Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Botswana. Sources of air pollution for a country often exist in upwind countries. Western countries first noticed long-range transport of air pollutants in the middle of the twentieth century. The first convention on long-term transboundary air pollution (CLRTAP) was signed per se at the end of the 1970s (CLRTAP, 1998), which led to the systematic assessment of economic, social and environmental impacts of transnational pollution sources.

Many countries have signed agreements to point out the transboundary long-range air pollution sources across in the world. Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore have signed the Asian Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution; Japan started air pollution measuring earth net program (EANET) in East Asia in 1992 and Korea started long-range transboundary air pollution program (LTP) in Northeast Asia in 1995. US-Canada- Acid Rain Agreement in 1991 deals with reduction of pollutants such as a sulfur dioxide in Eastern Canada and Northern United States regions (Candel-Sánchez, 2006).

Indonesian forest fires hurled haze all over Asian region in 1997 (Siddiqui & Quah, 2004). Political differences, competitions, and hostilities impede control of unilateral transboundary air pollution. Sovereign nations cannot impose ecotax under polluter pays principle (Chambers & Jensen, 2002). When air pollution is linked to eutrophication then extending environmental boundaries (also liabilities) under polluter pay principle is the ultimate cost effecting option to control transboundary air pollution (Tuinstra, Hordijk, & Kroeze, 2006). China has proposed a transboundary water-pollution tax system model, but this law is governed within their own country (Zhao et al., 2012).

A CLRTAP type agreement was signed by SAARC countries under Malé Declaration in Maldives under cooperative environment program (Declaration, 1998). A primary focus of the Male Declaration is to monitor dry and wet pollutions, but data also helps to understand local and across the border pollution sources. SARC countries including Iran, monitor respirable suspended particulate matter (PM10), total suspended particulate matter (TSPM), SO2 and NO2 under dry and wet deposition conditions. Male Declaration under SACEP established monitoring stations in Kulna (Bangladesh), Gelephu (Bhutan), Hanimaadhu (Maldives), Rampur (Nepal), Port Canning (India), Dutuwewa (Sri Lanka), Bahawalnagar (Pakistan), and Chamsari (Iran).
Smog is a dusty killer fog that smothers sunlight across Asia (Pasternack, 2007). Black fog, containing soot particulates and poisonous sulfur dioxide, is produced during coal burning processes which can be separated with electrostatic precipitators. Photochemical smog (summer smog) is caused by the reaction of sunlight with Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere, leading to airborne particles and ground-level ozone (Brankov et al., 2003). Winter smog is caused when water droplets are trapped between ground and upper-level air layers. Cold air cannot escape, therefore, forms cloudy smog above ground level. Winter smog is thicker than summer smog. Use of excessive pesticides fertilizers in Indian and Pakistani Punjab also contributes to higher NO2 concentrations in the air (Syed et al., 2013). Use of pesticide increases air pollution, threatening natural ecosystems.

India produces 85,000 metric tons of 145 types of pesticides. Indian farmers use 0.5kg/ha pesticides so 51% of food commodities are likely to be contaminated (Devi & Raha, 2013). Maximum limit of sulfur in high-speed diesel was 1.0% which has been reduced to 0.05%. Experts and officials believe that transboundary effects are multiplying overall air pollution in Pakistan (Bashir, 2012). Hudiara drain case study has shown the passage of transboundary pollutants through water from India to Pakistan (M. Khan, Khan, & Hania, 2003). Mean dissolved oxygen was measured to be below 1mg/L and mean biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) exceeded our standard industrial effluent limits. Air and water pollution abatement can be improved by cooperative monitoring and control strategies. Coal-fired power plants and diesel-fueled transport are major sources of air pollution. Pakistan, one of the top climate change hit country, has announced her climate policy to cope with local and transboundary pollution sources.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has completed 1 billion trees project in KPK and announced a ten billion trees project to be completed in next five years to combate climate change and air pollution. Pakistan spends a significant percentage of national GDP on air pollution-related health issues but cannot do much as the sources of air pollutants are located in upwind India. countries. Coal-fired power plants are key players for injecting smog in the atmosphere. PM10 pollution levels in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, are 198, 120, 106, 96, 77 and 18 g/m3 respectively which do not produce any electricity using coal power plants. India with 109 and China with 98 g/m3 PM10 are the biggest regional coal-based power producers which are not even listed in top ten PM10 polluted countries despite the fact that pollution levels in some of their industrial cities vary from 500 to 900g/m3.This means that the way we calculate pollution is not satisfactory because it punishes pollutees, not the polluters.

China, America, Russia, India, EU, Japan, Germany, Canada, UK and South Africa are the top ten coal power producers on the planet, but their names are not listed in top ten polluters. Pakistan spends annually more than Rs.1 billion on cleaning pollution mess created by neighbors (Iqbal, 2013). Independent experts hold the G-20 countries owes to 20 Afghan-African countries $2.2 trillion to clean up the smog mess they have created for them by burning fossil fuels (Ransel, 2011). Three billion poor, four billion middle class and half billion elites produce 7%, 43% and 50% of pollution, but ingeniously point out the poorest people to be responsible for pollution. Mongolia, Botswana and Pakistan are simply victims of being neighbor of the G-20 countries.

Global average for PM10 national air pollutions and local toxic lead concentrations are 71 and 500 g/m3, however, they are 198 at national and 4400 at metropolitian level in Pakistan (Lahore) scales (von Schneidemesser, Stone, Quraishi, Shafer, & Schauer, 2010). WHO’s safe limit on PM10 toxic metals is 2, whereas, Pakistan’s national average was 340 in 2010. Rising power demand for growing Indian economy is injecting pollutions in atmosphere which sooner or later flows down to Pakistan through monsoon and trade winds (Himalayan Glaciers, 2012).

Pakistan earlier had  has no considerable number of coal power plants, except a small unit in western part near the sea, and uses compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation. PML (N) has in built two coal power plants each 1250MW in 2017. Earlier government had plan of multiple coal power plants, but Imran Khan rejected coal power power policy. CNG, LPG, and petrol are clean fuels as compared to diesel and furnace oil. High carbon atoms fuels utilize oxygen and inject smog into the atmosphere. CNG and LPG are more environment-friendly than any other fossil fuel (N. Abas et al., 2015). Coal, oil, and gas emissions are 1000-1050 g, 778-790 g and 443-469 g of CO2 per kWhe. This level of CO2 emission for coal can be reduced to 98-398g, much less than gas, by deploying carbon capture and sequestration technologies that solve the pollution problem (Sovacool, 2008).

Under SACEP program, the transboundary smog sweep should be monitored  along Himalayan valleys and northeastern Punjab regions which are directly affected by upwind pollutants (Syed et al., 2013). Monitoring stations have ingeniously been chosen at southeast Bahawalnagar near the Thar Desert in Pakistan and upwind clean Port Canning area in India. A standard set of long-range transboundary air pollution monitoring parameters are well reported in the literature (de Leeuw, 2002). Impact of coal power plants CO2 capture and storage on long-range transboundary air pollution is also available to reduce neighbor’s grievances if there is will to mitigate air pollutions (Koornneef et al., 2009). Coal is all carbon and every ton of coal depletes 2.6 tons of oxygen in atmosphere.

Spatio-temporal monitoring over Pakistan, using moderate resolution imaging spectrometer (MODIS), total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS) and multi-angle imaging spectrometer (MISR) satellite data from 1979 to 2008 show rising aerosol concentrations over Pakistan (Alam, 2011). Local Indian researchers believe high levels of total ozone concentrations (TOC) in both countries but ingeniously relate it to use of dung and woods (Pal, 2010), but NASA satellite images shows live thick clouds of smog continually flowing from India to Pakistan. Indian environmental experts do recognize transboundary air pollution problem considering coal fuel as a source of the myriad problems. The existence of international transboundary law can drive India to capture and store the pollutants being pumped into the air.

Indian coal plants smog flows to Pakistan in summer through monsoons but spreads around during winter. Indian air pollution problem becomes severe in the winter. Several AOD studies were undertaken in India on winter smog problem. Generally, AOD is about 0.6 at 1m over most parts of India which peaks to 0.9 to 1.0 at 0.4m in coal power plants areas (Ramachandran, Kedia, & Srivastava, 2012). Spatio-temporal variation study in China from period 1980-2008 showed high rising AOD trend of 0.01 per decade from 1980 to 2000 and low rising trend of 0.004 per decade from 2000 to 2008 (Guan et al., 2011). The AOD trend has declined by 15% per decade, but underlying increase tendency continues. AOD over the most affected Chinese cities varies from 1.5 to 1.6 which is recommended to be 0.01 to 0.02. Chinese coal power plants are located at 130E to 100E and 50N to 22N areas whereas Indian power plants are sparsely located but densely situated in the northeast. Monsoon winds emanating from the Bay of Bengal drive all air pollutions into Pakistan.

Energy crisis has led power outages of 12 to 15 hours daily which indicates the crippling situation of local industry in Pakistan.  In India, aerosols concentration increases from March to August which lands to ground level in Pakistan due to downwind in winter chill. The respiratory sickness rates increase in India during winter as most of the smog also hangs over the polluters in winter. Adoption of polluter pays principle is not only the demand of Pakistani nationals but also the need of Indian population suffering from their local coal power plants with off-gas purification systems available to solve the air pollution problem. Thousands of Indian nationals die every year with the smog-related respiratory diseases without any national compensation schemes. When polluting utilities do not pay to their own citizens then how they will compensate to the down affected foreigners? Air pollution externality problem can only be solved either by regional cooperation or global environment law which yet does not exist. Moreover, laws alone cannot work successfully in absence of mass-cooperation. Hence, an awareness campaign can support the cause and teachers, who are agent of change, can accelerate the efforts (Yasmin & Sohail, 2018a, 2018b; Yasmin, Sohail, Sarkar, & Hafeez, 2017).

Air pollution can efficiently be controlled from the source. Combustion of oil and gas in transport vehicles and coal-fired power plants, cement industries, and fire kilns are significant sources of smog. The fuels can be lead-free to reduce the level of lead in the atmosphere. Advanced burners efficiently lessen the smoke and NOX emission from the flue gases. Electric vehicles and sunlight power cars can mitigate photochemical smog. Europe has effectively solved smog, and pollutant flow problem by regional control policies and this seems to be a guideline for Pakistan, India, and China. The polluter-pays principle is the ultimate way out. The polluting industrial gases should be processed through filters and cyclone collectors, scrubbers and precipitators to remove particulate matter. Toxic gases may be detoxified before releasing them into the atmosphere. Pollutants may be converted to less harmful gases by combustion, detoxified by passing through liquid absorbers, trapped in solid adsorbents or controlling emission of particulate matter by gravity, filter bags, Jet pulse filters, wet scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators. Research focusing on transboundary air pollution and converting poisonous effluents to useful green fuels has become a need of the day. Practical efforts may include use of smokeless fuels in hearths, maintaining vehicle engines, plant trees along roads, and use renewable solar energy. It is essential to educate people and create public awareness for more effective control and prevention of air pollution, but the ultimate solution is the implementation of trans-boundary polluter pays principle.

Experts emphasize regional cooperation for effective abatement and control of trans-boundary air pollution problems in East and West (B.S, 2001). Internal forums and trade policies can help to enhance collaboration between hostile countries. Transboundary air pollution has necessitated international cooperation rather than individual efforts. Transboundary air pollution issue can perhaps be better resloved by consensus on common good between stakeholders. It can be promoted by motivation and adaptive policies (Andrew Kelly & Vollebergh, 2012). A few countries have their own Clean Air Acts and Environment Laws which are not being adhered to at least in SAARC countries.  China, South Africa, and India. Upwind polluted countries not only damage the health of their citizens but also cause environmental problems for their downwind neighbors. UN-ECE protocols, supply clear guidance on acute and chronic health effects of trans-boundary air pollutions (Krewitt, 1998).

Air pollution has a negative impact on life satisfaction, high death rates and low soil productivity leading to life and economic losses (Luechinger, 2010). UNO, IPCC, and WHO agreed to Montreal and Kyoto Protocols to ban ozone-depleting gases and global warming refrigerants but took no practical steps against air polluters (Spellman, 2008) (Naeem Abas, Nawaz, & Khan, 2015b). The air pollution ranking authorities can advocate international environment law to penalize the air polluting countries. Helsinki Convention takes care of trans-boundary watercourses and lakes which can be extended to the transnational atmosphere with minor augmentations for air pollution. Polluter-pays principle is mentioned under article 15 of the Rio Declaration on environment and development as an international guideline, but polluter pays-principle in practice is dealt as pollutee pays principle, and strangely pollutee is ranked as the most polluted country. It is the right time to create an international environmental law focusing on trans-boundary air pollution. Japan and China went to saber-rattling over air pollution in the recent past. Oil depletion is likely to ratchet up coal and biomass consumption by 2050 when Himalayan glaciers retreat would be accomplished. Oceans absorb CO2 from the air and become acidic to damage marine life (N Khan, Kalair, Abas, & Haider, 2017). The global community is heading to stone-age style wars with deadly weapons over natural reserves. Sanctions against polluters are feeble and out of date, and, in any case, are rarely invoked. 

Industrialized polluters vacillate over net emission based ecotax policies to compensate affected neighboring nations. Chinese, South African, and Indian coal power plants spew dense clouds of smog day and night, but Mongolia, Botswana, and Pakistan are obtruded as polluted countries. Polluter pays principle is being reversed by developed nations to blame the affected pollutees (Nash, 2000). Air, water or land pollution is a nuisance which has been developed by stronger countries, and weaker neighbors are at receiving end. Pollution affects millions of innocent people who genuinely may be treated equivalent to a weapon of mass destruction. Combusted fossil fuels remnants, depleted uranium, and biochemical waste cause serious problems which world faces today. Trans-boundary air pollution conflicts demand legislation of international environmental law upholding the polluter pays principle (Gaines, 1991). The polluter-pays principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. Clean Air Acts have been enacted in many countries at the national level to reduce airborne contaminants, smog and air pollution which need to be extended to international standards. India and China have their local environmental laws and clean air acts, but their air pollutants hardly meet their own environmental pollution guidelines. We have trans-boundary water contamination laws but no air pollution control restraints, though we use water hardly thrice a day but breathe air every instant. Upwind high substantial population countries emit 2.5 billion kgCO2 that cause regional greenhouse effect in downwind states (N. Abas & Khan, 2014).  Transboundary pollution problem like water may be solved by the addition of “air” to the existing “water” Helsinki Convention.

According to World Bank report, the air pollution in China has killed 760,000 citizens. Smog kills over 340,000 Chinese and Indians every year due to smog respiratory diseases (Pasternack, 2007), which is the old figure, now the death rates might be even higher. India enjoys coal-fired power plants and diesel driven economy which are the worst sources of pollution. Widespread use of coal and diesel in India is smoggier than petrol (Hindus, 2004). The pieces of lands or seas we use for dumping radioactive and biochemical wastes are used up forever. Coal, oil, gas, wood and nuclear power plants worsen air and water quality, latter may be slightly lesser fatal than the former. The carbon-free energy system is the sustainable solution that we should adopt instead of waiting for oil depletion in the 2060s, gas in 2070s, uranium in 2090s and coal in 2150s when the oceans would have become acidic and air poisonous (Bentley, 2002). Pakistan does not produce coal power yet it is stormed by the smog of neighbors. The founding leaders Great Britain wanted both the countries (Pakistan and the India) to live in harmony like USA and Canada, but subsequent events led to distrust between both nations. Pakistan being downwind state depends upon upwind pollutions. India has a good experience of applying the polluter pays principle within own territory (Luppi, Parisi, & Rajagopalan, 2012), which can be extended across the borders to compensate downwind victims. We have regional examples of multilateral cooperative initiatives like marine basins (Pernetta & Jiang, 2013) and the South China Sea (Bewers & Pernetta, 2013). South Asian nations are already collaborating on pollution measurement and prevention under Male Declaration (Declaration, 1998), which may be extended to incorporate polluter pays principle among the most affected countries.

As an integral part of Male Declaration, both nations can sit down together or through UNO representatives, they can resolve the coal-fired smog problem that is taking the lives of innocent citizens having no access to medicines and education. Upwind countries produce 68 to 79% coal-fired power and throw the smog and toxic pollutants into the open atmosphere. World community expect from power producers to pay ecotax amount of which be shared with affected counties (Rahman & Edwards, 2004). In the energy-hungry modern world, the victims do not know the culprits which may be located far away from the pollutee. A fewer developed nations are responsible for global water, air, and land pollutions, rest of all are affected parties. It is not green on blue politics the polluters hold power to make rules to redress the grievances of affected pollutee. Surprisingly, the victim is not even allowed to write or speak on privileged media. In view of prevailing paradoxes of the polluters, there is an urgent need of implementing truth emergency on planet Earth. Mongolia, Botswana, and Pakistan are ranked as the most polluted countries with PM10 air pollutions of 279, 216 and 198 g/m3 respectively. Never Estonia, Mauritius and Australia are ranked as the cleanest countries with PM10 air pollutions of 11, 12 and 13 respectively. Independent analysts hold the Mongolia, Botswana, and Pakistan among the most affected countries of the air pollutions caused by their neighbors. World community blames Pakistan for equivocating on polluter pays principle, none points out the ingenious neighbor polluter (Luken, 2009). Pakistani spent $8.3 million from 2000 to 2007 on treating the water pollutions and cannot afford to pay huge sums on cleansing air pollutions, sent as a gift by neighbors. Countries ranked as relatively less polluted are pumping more air pollutants into the atmosphere than the most polluted countries.

Carbon dioxide emissions of the most polluted Mongolia, Botswana, and Pakistan, are 0.04, 0.02 and 0.55%, respectively of global emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions of Estonia, Mauritius, and Australia are 0.06, 0.01 and 1.34% respectively of global emissions. China, South Africa, and India produce 78.3, 93.1 and 70.6% of their electricity using coal power plants but their neighbors are being asphyxiated for the sin which they never committed. Sums of carbon dioxide emissions by the most polluted and the cleanest three countries are 0.61 and 1.41 respectively. The cleanest countries release more than twice carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the most polluted countries (N. Abas & Khan, 2014). This clearly reflects the fact that population and carbon dioxide emissions have nothing to do with their air pollution ranking. World leaders pointlessly focus on population and carbon dioxide which are not   the real causes of crises, (water, and air pollutions). Population threat stands on pillars of subsistence, resources, and scarcity which might take us back to stone-age views. Carbon dioxide is a green gas, not air pollutant, so its link to population is a misleading idea. Per capita index is simply total emissions divided by total population. If population of any country decreases then her per capita emission increases - a senseless index. Population densities of Estonia, Mauritius, and Australia are 30, 617 and 3 persons /km2 respectively but they are ranked as the cleanest countries whereas population densities of Mongolia, Botswana and Pakistan are 1.7, 3 and 227 persons /km2 respectively but they are portrayed as the polluted countries.

Waste and air pollution are driven by population and economic growth (Zia & Devadas, 2008), which demands more and more energy derived from coal, oil, and gas. Fossil fuels fired power plants – primarily coal-fired – are the real causes of air pollution all around. Per capita, energy consumptions in China and India are 397 and 85 watts per person whereas numbers for Mongolia and Pakistan are 140 and 47 respectively.  Nobody has control over natural winds, but everybody can at least treat its smokes, else industrialized nations can pay the price of environmental and health hazards to affected parties. Top six industrialized nations hurl over 71% of 29.89 billion tons of CO2 emissions annually in their local atmospheres, which are blown away by natural winds to neighboring countries. A dangerous and blind race between China and India to pursue their progress is becoming a source of tremendous loss to common citizens of neighboring countries. Japan and China accuse each other of PM2.5 air pollution but genuinely speaking both are culprit polluters affecting each other and neighbors. Winds emanating from the Arabian Sea take a turn from Bay of Bengal pushing Indian smog in Indian Himalayan valleys to Pakistan (Chauhan, 2013). Damian regards Indo-Sino smog as an air mageddon against neighboring communities (Damian, 2013).

Wherever we dump the waste it will return to the producer through natural winds and water flows. International pollution ranking parameters, in the absence of transboundary environment law, do not judge the real polluters. Nowhere in the world, the race for infinite growth and endless profits is mandated. Humans are not fishes who pollute the water wherein they live. Economic growth is hinged upon energy security and environmental sustainability, so the free market based economic systems can be the linchpin for snowballing pollutions. Economic growth has no limit, but the natural resources are limited. To deal with the waste problem, the world community will collectively have to go for polluter pays principle instead of ingenious institutional excuses. For national air pollution ranking, the parameter such as net individual should be used instead of per capita or km square which are skeptical. Arab countries are referred as oil and gas guzzlers on per head basis without telling the total heads. G-20 owes to pay $ 2.2 trillion to G-20 affected nations as eco-tax and fossil fuels smog tax under polluter pays principle (Alam et al., 2011). Open coal-fired power plants are the ground zero for smog and air pollution. Power plants and industries are operated in the same biosphere where we live and breathe. Waters and air have no boundaries, so must be governed by the international trans-boundary laws. Polluters are acting as escaping water, and pollutee as fish which are not captured by ranking nets . We have to manage the whole of ecosphere even if we do it for ourselves alone. We hate or love we cannot escape the planet, so we have to do or die together. Land, water and air polluters (not pollutee) are the collective adversaries of humanity. India and China both produce 70 to 80% of their electricity using coal-fired power plants. These upwind coal power plants emit green gases and pollutants which flow to Pakistan through summer monsoons and trade winds. We should collectively go for the international environmental law as we cannot divide air like land. It is late yet in time to move ahead for individual benefits instead of looming collective failure. Similar Environmental laws for air and water pollution control must be applied in all neighboring countries. Air pollution must be monitored along borders to record amount of pollutants and directions of flows on daily basis to compensate each other under polluter pays principle. Industrialization near the border may be banned to avoid air pollutant migrations to neighbors.


REFERENCES

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Source:Ocnus.net 2019

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