The use of command-and-control approaches to pollution regulation in India has resulted in high levels of non-compliance, resulting largely from lack of high-quality information. Real-time, online pollution monitoring systems attempt to close this gap, by moving away from a heavy reliance on manual inspections and monitoring, towards more efficient regulation built on sophisticated data. By incentivizing plants to ensure high-quality and continuous data transmission, permit trading systems aim to improve the sustainability of online monitoring as a tool to inform industrial pollution regulation.
Researchers from EPIC-India, J-PAL South Asia and EPoD – India, are working with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board to evaluate the impact of India’s first emissions trading market in Surat, Gujarat. The project builds on ongoing research aiming to understand the effect of continuous emissions monitoring systems on plant abatement choices, regulatory behaviour and pollution levels. This initiative is pioneering in that it tests the use of market-based instruments for industrial pollution regulation for the first time in the history of Indian environmental regulation.
**EPIC India’ advisory work and impact evaluation activities on this project have been funded by MacArthur Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and we are grateful for their support.