Air Pollution in China

Peering into China’s thick haze of air pollution

Date of Release: 
Jan 23 2017

As 2016 gave way to 2017, residents of Beijing, Tianjin, and many other northern Chinese cities suffered through the longest stretch of stifling air pollution ever recorded in the country. They choked through eight continuous days of thick, light-blocking haze, starting Dec. 30, 2016. This stretch of bad air began only a week after people in 70 northern Chinese cities were enveloped by similar days of haze composed of high concentrations of particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5).

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Coal Burning Causes the Most Air Pollution Deaths in China, Study Finds

Date of Release: 
Aug 17 2016

BEIJING — Burning coal has the worst health impact of any source of air pollution in China and caused 366,000 premature deaths in 2013, Chinese and American researchers said on Thursday.

Coal is responsible for about 40 percent of the deadly fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5 in China’s atmosphere, according to a study the researchers released in Beijing.

Those figures are consistent with what Chinese scientists have been saying in recent years about industrial coal burning and its relation to air pollution.

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China tries a different tack to curb air pollution

Date of Release: 
May 4 2016

SHANGHAI/BEIJING -- The dark haze of pollution enveloping Beijing is not only a serious health hazard, it also disrupts daily life. "When pollution is really severe, schools close down and I have to ask for leave from work to take care of my 8-year-old daughter," said Zhang Caixia, a 34-year-old mother of two who lives in the Chinese capital. "It's affecting my life a lot."

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China: Beijing man photographs three years' worth of smog from his window

Date of Release: 
Mar 17 2016

Beijing (CNN) -- The view from Zou Yi's window is fickle. Some days he can see every detail of the Beijing Television skyscraper across the way. Some days he can hardly see it at all. Such is daily life for the millions who live under Beijing's polluted skies. What makes Zou unique is his steadfastness in documenting the city's air quality -- every day for three years. Each morning before going to work, Zou first takes a picture of the skyscraper from his thirteenth floor living room.

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Hairy Nose film takes on China's pollution

Date of Release: 
Mar 1 2016

Air pollution in China is no laughing matter, but one campaign group hopes its bizarre new film will provoke both laughs and action among urban Chinese.

"Hairy Nose" depicts a bleak future where people have evolved lengthy nasal hair to filter out the smog.

It ends with a warning that if people don't change their ways, pollution will change them.
The charity, WildAid, told the BBC they wanted people to stop waiting for government action to fix the problem.

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China Ramps Up Efforts to Fight Pollution

Date of Release: 
Mar 6 2016

China will intensify its efforts to reduce pollution, Premier Li Keqiang said in his annual Government Work Report on Saturday, citing as an example ambitious targets in fighting smog that will increase the number of days with good air quality.

"Pollution control and environmental protection are important to people's health and the sustainable development of the nation. So we must work hard to move forward," he said.

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Despite Xi’s ‘iron hand’ warning to polluters, city residents still choking under smog

Date of Release: 
Mar 8 2016

BEIJING – Embracing a groundswell of public outrage about toxic air ahead of annual legislative meetings last year in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping threatened to punish polluters with an “iron hand.”

Fast forward a year, as delegates with China’s legislature meet again in the capital, and evidence suggests the iron hand may be loosening its grip, highlighting tension between the goals of environmental protection and economic growth, which hit the slowest pace in a quarter century last year.

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China Intensifies Fight Against Pollution, Aims to Further Reduce PM2.5 Concentration Levels

Date of Release: 
Mar 7 2016

China is determined to significantly bring down its pollution levels. The government has unveiled an ambitious paln to address the country's smog problem and provide people with more days with good air quality.

This was among the highlights of Premier Li Keqiang's Annual Government Work Report, according to China Daily.

"Pollution control and environmental protection are important to people's health and the sustainable development of the nation," Li said. "So we must work hard to move forward."

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Tackling Pollution in China's 13th Five Year Plan: Emphasis on Enforcement

Date of Release: 
Mar 11 2016

Air pollution continues to plague vast regions of China, but the country is making visible progress. In a press conference in Beijing this morning, Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining reported that average ambient levels of PM 2.5, the most dangerous air pollutant, were down by 14.1 percent in 74 key cities last year, the first year after China established a national PM 2.5 standard of 35 ug/m3. The Pearl River Delta region actually achieved overall compliance with the national standard.

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China ‘doing better job at pollution control than developed countries’

Date of Release: 
Mar 12 2016

THERE will be no return to the era of pursuing economic growth at the expense of the environment, despite the slowing economy, China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining said yesterday.

For example, China would continue to restructure its economy away from heavily polluting companies and create more room for “good” companies to develop and focus on technological innovation, he said.

However, there was a need to rein in local governments, some of whom are still reluctant to enforce environmental laws, favoring economic growth instead.

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