Smoggy Morning
A man walks in a pond on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India, Oct. 31, 2016. Cathal McNaughton
India's poor air quality rivals China's as the deadliest in the world, according to a new series of annual reports released Tuesday. In equilibrium with China, India's dangerous air particles caused roughly 1.1 million premature deaths annually, the report by the Health Effects Institute and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation found. The analysis revealed that "China and India together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths."
Traffic Policeman Wears Mask
A traffic policeman wears a mask to protect himself from dust and air pollution as he signals to drivers in New Delhi, India, Dec. 23, 2015. India's car makers and dealers on Thursday called for a clear, nationwide policy to combat air pollution, after a crackdown on diesel cars and trucks in New Delhi, which campaigners have vowed to extend to other cities. Adnan Abidi
The report also found that "92 percent of the world's population live in areas with unhealthy air."
Robert O' Keefe, vice president of the Health Effects Institute, said China's premature death rate by dangerous air particles has steadied in the past few years as a result of the country's efforts, despite its 17 percent increase since 1990. But India's has skyrocketed to a 50 percent increase in premature deaths caused by PM2.5--dangerous air particles that dwell inside the lungs--between 1990 and 2015, according to the report.

"India now approaches China in the number of deaths attributable to PM2.5," the report said.

Although pollution has worsened in other parts of the world, the report found good news, with notable progress made in the U.S. and Europe. "The U.S. Clean Air Act and actions by the European Commission have made substantial progress in reducing people exposed to PM since 1990," the report read. "The U.S. has experienced a reduction of about 27 percent in average population exposures to fine particulate matter with smaller declines in Europe."

Due to India's weak environmental regulations, citizens have few options other than to petition courts to take action against its dangerously increasing air quality. However, India's environmental court may lack the power to enforce change.

"If you can't enforce the directives of the courts -- it becomes a problem," Gopal Sankaranarayanan, advocate at the Supreme Court of India, said, The New York Times reported.