Gujarat will launch a pilot project of its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for particulate matter, in a bid to decrease air pollution in the state, from September 16, an official release said on Monday. This will be the first ETS for particulate matter in the world. And in the first phase, 163 industrial units of Surat will begin live trading from September 16.
“Globally, cap-and-trade systems have been used to reduce other forms of pollution, such as programmes that have successfully reduced sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). But the Gujarat programme is the first in the world to regulate particulate air pollution, which is the single greatest threat to human health globally,” the press release said.
To be part of the pilot project, 350 industrial units — mainly textile units — from Surat have been selected.
“The design of this market began in 2013, through a partnership between the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), a team of highly accomplished researchers from University of Chicago, Yale University and The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a research centre housed in Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” the release said.
Explaining the ETS, a note from GPCB says, “A central authority (usually a governmental body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that may be emitted. The limit or cap is allocated or sold to firms in the form of emissions permits which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of the specified pollutant. Firms are required to hold a number of permits (or allowances or carbon credits) equivalent to their emissions. The total number of permits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Firms that need to increase their volume of emissions must buy permits from those who require fewer permits.”
Under the project, Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems have been installed at the participating industrial units to measure the emission of particulate matter in the concerned unit. Following a study, GPCB has put a cap of 280 metric tonnes on the total emission levels of the 163 industrial units for a month.
Based on the emission figures available on the trading platform, those industrial units that exceed their limit can buy permits from those whose emission is less, an officer of GPCB said.
And for this, an online trading platform has been created on National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited, and auction for the emission permit will be done on Tuesdays, the officer added.
Any industrial unit that emits more particulate matter than for which it is entitled will be issued a penalty by the GPCB.
GPCB Chairman Rajiv Kumar Gupta said that with the launching of this live trading, Gujarat will be shifting towards market-based regulation of particulate matter emission.
For overseeing the functioning of the system and for framing of rules, a high-level Market Oversight Committee has been formed comprising of Chairman of GPCB and experts in the field.