Cooperative control of regional transboundary air pollutants

Naeem Abas, Muhammad Shoaib Saleem, Esmat Kalair, Nasrullah Khan
2019 Environmental Systems Research  
After food and water, clean air is essential for continuity of life on the planet. Complex trans-boundary air pollution problem is often linked to sustenance and eutrophication. Air pollution problem has no universal conventions like Montreal and Kyoto protocols in case of refrigerants, except regional cooperative solutions. Polluter-pays principle is typically restricted to the source country. Under article 16, International Environment Law mentions the polluter-pay principle without any
more » ... e without any legitimate power to mitigate the transboundary air pollution risks. Mongolia, Botswana, and Pakistan are ranked as the most polluted countries, although their accumulative emissions are lesser than any of the coal power producing countries. Results: China, South Africa, and India produce 68-79% of their electricity using coal-fired power plants, emitting harmful pollutants into the common air. Regional winds drive upwind smog into their adjacent downwind countries like Pakistan. This paper compares the published transboundary air pollutant flows data of the most polluted countries (Mongolia, Botswana, Pakistan) with the cleanest ones (Estonia, Mauritius, Australia). Conclusions: Air pollution externality problem can only be solved either by regional cooperation or global environment law which yet does not exist. Drawing an analogy from water contamination laws, this work proposes an extension of the polluter-pays principle to transboundary air pollutants to compensate the public losses. We should collectively go for the international environmental law as we cannot divide air like land. Industrialization near the border may be banned to avoid air pollutant migrations to neighbors. which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
doi:10.1186/s40068-019-0138-0 fatcat:sogkxhdt55abfjibi3urbtenp4