New Delhi:  As New Delhi suffers through a surge in the most harmful type of smog — a toxic stew that makes India’s capital one of the most polluted in the world — Beijing offers lessons in how another troubled city made progress clearing the air.

China, which for more than a decade has been the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, has made its capital the focal point of a clean-up drive. It’s replacing some of its coal-burning facilities with cleaner fuels, encouraging electric vehicles and threatening polluters with harsh penalties. In India, government officials have said the jury is still out on whether the air is as dirty as researchers claim, and the Environment Minister told a local news program this week that “no death certificate has the cause of death as pollution.”
 

The diverging philosophies show up clearly in the numbers. Concentrations of PM2.5 — tiny, deadly particles researchers link to respiratory disease — have soared in recent…

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