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Pollution drop could pressure India’s energy policymakers

The lockdown has markedly cleaned the country’s air. Will citizens demand permanent change or will economics trump climate concerns?

India’s nationwide lockdown, which began in late March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been one of the strictest in the world. Travel and transport have been severely curtailed, with a subsequent material downward impact on economic activity. Having been extended through April and the first two weeks of May, a phased easing process began from 17 May. In a significant silver lining to the economic downturn, the country has recorded its lowest levels of pollution in decades—including in hugely symbolic ways. The grand Himalayan mountain range, otherwise permanently cloaked in smog, is visible from the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. The Ganges river, sacred to India’s H

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