U.S. Clean Air Trade Mission to India

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By attending this trade mission, U.S. companies will be able to: 

  • Gain market insights
  • Make industry contacts
  • Meet with government agencies
  • Solidify business strategies
  • Advance specific projects
  • Identify potential partners and buyers
  • Participate in networking opportunities

Business-to-business appointments will be with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, and partners.

Applicants must submit a completed and signed application HERE and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on their products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation no later than March 15, 2022.

Submitting an application is indication of your interest to participate in the mission.  No fees are due at the time of registering your intent to join the mission. Once you are invited to join the mission payment of mission fees and the signature of the participation agreement is then due in order to participate in the mission.

In New Delhi, the U.S. mission members will meet with officials from India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the Central Pollution control Board, and take part in business matchmaking appointments with private-sector organizations. In addition, they will attend an Embassy briefing and networking event with multipliers, and will have the opportunity to learn from experiences shared by public and private sector stakeholders in the air quality sector. A site visit will be included in the mission stop, as well as a roundtable with the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and/or the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

In Kolkata, the U.S mission members will meet with public and private sector entities as well as participate in business matchmaking services. The mission stop will begin with a consulate briefing, followed by a meeting with the West Bengal Pollution Control Board and business-to-business matchmaking. A roundtable with a local chamber of commerce will also take place, followed by a hosted reception which will provide networking opportunities for the delegation.

During the optional mission stop in Mumbai, delegates will participate in a small roundtable with a handful of local companies organized by a partner organization, along with a group company promotion.  Those companies that elect Mumbai as an optional stop will receive virtual facilitated B2B meetings at a later date.

Matchmaking efforts will involve multipliers such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce/India. U.S. participants will be counseled before and after the mission by U.S. Export Assistance Center trade specialists, primarily by members of the Environmental Technology Team. Participation in the mission will include the following:

  • Pre-travel briefings/webinar on subjects ranging from business practices in India to security;
  • Pre-scheduled meetings with potential partners, distributors, end users, or local industry contacts in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai (optional stop; virtual B2Bs will be arranged at a later date);
  • Meetings with Indian Government officials;
  • Participation in site visit in Delhi;
  • Meetings with CS India’s environmental technologies industry specialists in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai (optional stop);

Commercial Opportunities

According to the December 2020 Lancet Planetary Health Report, 1,670,000 deaths in India were attributable to pollution in 2019.  To put this into perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic caused 150,000 deaths in 2020. Though air pollution is an issue throughout India, the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, and Rajasthan accounted for more than half of total air pollution-attributable deaths.

India’s persistent air and water pollution problems will create steady demand for environmental technologies and solutions in the coming years.  For 2019, industry experts estimated India’s overall environmental technologies market, including goods and services, to be worth over $23 billion. The International Trade Administration’s 2019 Top Markets Report on Environmental Technologies ranks India as the sixth largest world market overall, and ninth for air pollution control specifically. India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the federal agency responsible for implementation and oversight of environmental laws in the country. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) implements policies framed by the MoEFCC and provides technical services to the Ministry. Enforcement, however, is delegated to the state level through State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), or Pollution Control Committees in the seven union territories that answer to state government heads rather than the federal authority.  

The most significant laws regulating air pollution control are the 1987 Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, revised in 2009. Major initiatives by the Government of India on air pollution mitigation include the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), launched in January 2019, with the objective to reduce pollution levels by 20-30% in next five years.  The NCAP calls for the reduction of emissions, the expansion of air monitoring networks, capacity building for pollution management, and the strengthening of public awareness. The NCAP also sets a target to install 150 new real-time air monitoring stations, and to increase the number of manual monitoring stations.  

The CPCB, along with several regional pollution control boards, is in the process of issuing tenders for the installation of Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) in cities across India. As of October 2020, there were 234 CAAQMS installed in cities around the country. NTPC Limited, a public sector undertaking engaged in power generation and related activities, will provide financial support to the CPCB to procure and install 25 additional CAAQMS in six states and three union territories. The data collected from these stations will be used as inputs to create Air Quality Index evaluations for the respective cities. In addition to the procurement of equipment, these developments will necessitate consultancy services to analyze the data collected, identify the pollution source apportionment, and recommend appropriate actions for pollution abatement. There is also an opportunity for low cost sensor manufacturing companies to be supplier to the prime bidders.
Since 2014, the Government of India has been monitoring industrial emissions through Online Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (OCEMS). There are 17 categories of industrial units that are required to have OCEMS. These include power plants; aluminium, zinc, copper plants; cement plants; distilleries; fertilizers; iron and steel plants; oil refineries; petrochemicals; and tanneries. The emissions monitored under OCEMS regulations include particulate matter (PM), CO (carbon monoxide), NOx (nitrogen oxide), SO2 (sulfur dioxide), and fluoride.  In March 2020, India had about 3,700 OCEMS installed in different industrial locations across the country. Approximately 54 percent of India’s installed power generation capacity is fueled by coal-fired power plants.  In December 2015, the MoEFCC mandated all thermal power plants to achieve a 60-80 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury emissions by 2022 (likely to be extended).  To comply with this mandate, power producers will need to procure and install technology for emissions control.  The most challenging piece of the government’s plan will be to retrofit 440 power units of 166.5 Gigawatts (GW) capacity with flue gas desulphurization (FGD) systems by December 2022.  NTPC Limited has been the frontrunner in soliciting bids for FGD systems and has already awarded 27.5 GW through December 2019.  India is the largest emitter of SOx in the world, accounting for 15 percent of the anthropogenic emissions.  FGD installations can help reduce these emission amounts signif  icantly.  

 The technology segment related to weather monitoring and forecasting is on an upsurge. Target end users are often the same as industrial air pollution monitoring/control technology suppliers.  Critical industries like  like cement, steel, power, and mining need to protect their assets and operations from extreme weather events. This presents an opportunity for U.S. companies that provide weather forecasting products and services, so this is also a viable component of the Clean Air Trade Mission.   

The mission will focus on the following subsectors: (a) industrial air pollution control; (b) air quality monitoring technology;  (d) weather forecasting systems.     


New Delhi 

New Delhi, the largest metropolis in northern India, is undergoing explosive demographic expansion, and is expected to reach 26 million inhabitants by 2030.   The city is spread across 1,484 square kilometers, and has an extremely high population density. New Delhi has the highest ambient particulate matter pollution exposure in the country. As of 2019, the average annual PM 2.5 concentration across India was 58.1 micrograms per cubic meter; Delhi’s average PM 2.5 concentration for the year 2019 was 98.6 micrograms per cubic meter. Air quality index (AQI) of Delhi is generally Moderate (101–200) level between January to September, and then it drastically deteriorates to Very Poor (301–400), Severe (401–500) or Hazardous (500+) levels during October to December. The most crucial reasons for the alarming levels of air pollution in Delhi include the city’s landlocked geographical location, crop burning in neighbouring states (Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan), vehicular emissions, industrial pollution, open waste burning, and large-scale construction activities. The Badarpur Thermal Power Station, a coal-fired power plant, is another major source of air pollution in Delhi. Indian authorities have already launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) which aims to cut pollution in 122 of the most polluted cities by 20-30% by 2024. Under the NCAP, the government plans to cut industrial and transport emissions, reduce dust pollution, and impose stricter rules on biomass burning. There are also plans to upgrade and increase air monitoring systems. 


Kolkata is the largest metropolis in eastern India, and the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.  The city is approximately 80 kilometres west of the border with Bangladesh. It is the primary business, commercial, and financial hub of Eastern India.  According to the 2011 Indian census, Kolkata is the seventh-most populous city in India, with a population of 4.5 million residents within the city limits, and a population of over 14.1 million residents in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India.  Kolkata recorded an annual average PM2.5 reading of 59.8 in 2019, putting it into the ‘unhealthy’ bracket.  December and January are typically the worst months for Kolkata’s Air Quality Index.  In the last few years, Kolkata’s air quality is as bad as Delhi in these months.  Much of the air pollution comes from diesel fueled vehicles moving at slow speed through congested roads. There are three thermal power plants in and around Kolkata, along with several small scale industries that resort to burning of various materials and contribute to air pollution.  Fugutive dust is another big source of air pollution in the city and surrounding areas.  In the other city and town areas of West Bengal, the air polluting industries are steel, cement, sponge iron and operations of small scale industries without adequate pollution control equipment.

Other Products and Services
The foregoing analysis of environmental technologies opportunities related to clean air and air pollution monitoring and control in India is not intended to be exhaustive, but illustrative of the many opportunities available to U.S. businesses.  Applications from companies selling products or services within the scope of this mission, but not specifically identified, will be considered and evaluated by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Companies whose products or services do not fit the scope of the mission may contact their local U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) to learn about other business development missions and services that may provide more targeted export opportunities.  

Service Fee
Clean Air Trade Mission for small or medium-sized enterprises* $3,165
Clean Air Trade Mission for large firms or trade associations $4,495
Additional Firm Representative $750
Mumbai Spin-Off Mission Stop $1,625

Expenses like travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission participant. Interpreter and driver services can be arranged for additional cost. Delegation members will be able to take advantage of U.S. Embassy rates for hotel rooms. 

*For purposes of assessing participation fees, an applicant is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) if it qualifies under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standards (https://www.sba.gov/document/support—table-size-standards), which vary by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code.  The SBA Size Standards Tool [https://www.sba.gov/size-standards/] can help you determine the qualifications that apply to your company.