Beijing and neighbors makes big gain in air quality
After five years fighting against air pollution, Beijing and neighbors are achieving noticeably improvement in air quality, with a nearly 20 percent change for the better this year on average concentration levels of hazardous breathable particles known as PM2.5.
This year also saw large reductions in other pollutants. Densities of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and PM10 dropped by 20 percent, 4.2 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.
The dramatic change, which has occurred across North China, is partly because of favorable weather conditions in the past three months but it also shows that the government’s strong-arm tactics have had an impact.
However, according to Unearthed, in many cities not covered by the government’s action plan, the smog intensified, as industrial output was shifted away from the Beijing region. In Heilongjiang, Anhui and Guangdong – industrial regions – levels rose by 10.4%, 7.4%, and 5.3% respectively, as output from coal-fired power, steel and other metals surged.
And the national rate of improvement for 2017 slowed to 4.5% – the slowest rate since China began its war on pollution in 2013. In the final quarter, levels dropped by 5.7%. It comes after a government stimulus for heavy industry spurred a rebound in coal, cement and steel.
China still has a long way to go in this battle, since even for Beijing area, the average air quality is still significantly worse than the World Health Organization’s recommendations.
Beijing may be starting to win its battle against smog
Beijing makes big gains in air quality
Beijing, neighbors breathe cleaner air
China’s toxic air: Beijing smog plummets but national progress slows