Pollution Being Defeated
China is winning its war on pollution after four years of battle, a U.S. study said on March 12.
The concentration of fine particulates in Chinese cities has decreased by an average rate of 32 percent since 2014, according to research undertaken by professors at the University of Chicago.
Data from nearly 250 Chinese official monitoring agencies was analyzed with positive findings.
“The data shows China is winning its war against pollution,” said Michael Greenstone who conducted the study and is Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).
New data released by the Chinese Government in March showed that the number of “severely polluted” days in Beijing dropped to 23 in 2017, compared with 58 in 2013.
Across the country, the average density of PM2.5 in 338 cities was 43 micrograms per cubic meter, a drop of 6.5 percent year on year.
The eight-page report suggested Chinese people will enjoy a significant improvement in health conditions, leading to an extended life-expectancy.
“In the 204 prefectures for which we have data, covering nearly 70 percent of the total population, residents can expect to live on average 2.4 years longer relative to 2013 if the recent reductions in pollution are sustained,” said the report.
While praising China’s “significant gains in achieving its air quality goals,” the report suggested more long-term plans and market approaches like imposing taxes and cap-and-trade market rules.
Based on action plans implemented by the Chinese Government at all levels, the war on pollution was fought on many fronts as plants reduced emissions, fossil-fuel based power generators converted to renewable energy, cities restricted cars on roads and additional greenery was planted throughout the country. China also reduced its iron- and steel-making capacity and shut down coal mines since the State Council launched a national air pollution control campaign in 2013.
A goal was set for cities at the prefecture level and above to experience around 292 clean air days a year by 2020 as China draws up a new three-year plan to continue controlling air pollution.