Pol­lu­tion Be­ing De­feated

Beijing Review - - This Week Society -

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.

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