Year after year after year …

A recent ICCT briefing paper pointed out the consequences of delaying the implementation of stricter vehicle emission and fuel quality standards in India: over 48,000 premature deaths by 2045 that could be avoided by promulgating Bharat VI emission standards in 2019 instead of 2025. The social benefits would be twice as large as the required investments in cleaner fuels and vehicles.

Still, an implementation gap of six years is not small. We wondered what the impacts of a one-year delay would be, and then another year, and another, and so on.

The charts below show the answer we came up with.

The first set of charts represent annual extra premature deaths between 2015 and 2045 as a result of delays. Each year of delay results in an extra 13,000 to 16,000 cumulative deaths through 2045.

Chart set: additional premature deaths

The economic consequences of this delay tell a similar story. The charts above show annual economic losses due to delays in implementing stricter standards. Each year of delay costs between 24 and 31 billion USD (1.45 and 1.83 lakh crore INR).

Chart set: additional economic losses

So calls for more studies and evaluation before new policies are adopted will not be without consequences. This supports what we’ve been saying for a while: take action quickly.