Charting Pakistan’s air quality policy landscape

An IGC Evidence Paper on Energy & Environment (Dec 2019) states that human productivity drops by 6% on average on polluted days. It further lists Pakistanis among those severely exposed to PM2.5, one of the most harmful air pollutants. Moreover, the IGC’s work on air pollution indicates that developing countries struggle to enforce environmental regulations, leading to unprecedented levels of pollution. Pakistan’s deteriorating air quality poses a serious challenge to it economic growth and development.

Recent evidence suggests that tailored policies—especially those that harness the power of information and transparency—offer new and better opportunities to mitigate air pollution in developing countries. Studies from India and China reveal that incentivising firms to disclose their emissions could improve air quality. Authorities in Punjab must explore evidence-based interventions if they want to reduce pollution and better manage air quality.

Focusing on Punjab and PM2.5, we propose to:

  1. Describe and identify gaps in the state of air pollution regulations;
  2. Map relevant institutions, their intersections and relationships;
  3. Synthesise the current evidence-based policy literature on air pollution and air quality management in similar settings; and
  4. Determine areas of research that would generate the most value to citizens and policymakers.

Our work will inform IGC priorities to influence policy and actions that create stronger regulatory frameworks and enable greater compliance.

Outputs