Environmental Justice in India: Incidence of Air Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants

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See all articles by Jacob Kopas

Jacob Kopas

Columbia University

Erin York

Columbia University

Xiaomeng Jin

Columbia University

Harish S.P.

College of William & Mary

Ryan Kennedy

University of Houston - Department of Political Science

Shiran Victoria Shen

University of Virginia

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Date Written: May 13, 2020

Abstract

Air pollution is a vexing problem for emerging countries that strike a delicate balance between environmental protection, health, and energy for growth. We examine these difficulties in a study of disparate levels of exposure to pollution from coal-fired power generation in India, a country with high levels of air pollution and large, marginalized populations. With data on coal plant locations, atmospheric conditions, and census demographics, we estimate exposure to coal plant emissions using models that predict emission transportation. We find that ethnic and poor populations are more likely to be exposed to coal pollution. However, this relationship is sometimes non-linear and follows an inverted u-shape similar to that of an Environmental Kuznets Curve. We theorize that this non-linear relationship is due to the exclusion of marginalized communities from both the negative and positive externalities of industrial development.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Environmental Discrimination, Coal, Air Pollution, India, Environmental Kuznets Curve

Suggested Citation

Kopas, Jacob and York, Erin and Jin, Xiaomeng and S.P., Harish and Kennedy, Ryan and Shen, Shiran Victoria and Urpelainen, Johannes, Environmental Justice in India: Incidence of Air Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants (May 13, 2020). Ecological Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Jacob Kopas

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Erin York

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Xiaomeng Jin

Columbia University

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Harish S.P.

College of William & Mary ( email )

Government Dept, College of William & Mary
Post Office Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23186
United States

Ryan Kennedy

University of Houston - Department of Political Science ( email )

TX 77204-3011
United States
713-743-1663 (Phone)
713-743-3890 (Fax)

Shiran Victoria Shen

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Johannes Urpelainen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

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