Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) ran an article saying that China’s air pollution has worsened this year. The article cited a recent report by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), an independent research organization based in Finland.
This is the first time since China began to combat air pollution in 2013 that China’s national average concentration of PM2.5 is higher than the previous year. Including Beijing, around 80 percent of China’s provincial capital cities have detected this year an increase in PM2.5 concentrations compared with last year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “PM2.5 describes fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.”
Fossil fuel energy use in China has increased in the last year. Moreover, increased anthropogenic emissions have been a major factor pushing up pollution levels in China. In areas where PM2.5 levels do not meet World Health Organization safety standards, coal production and thermal power generation increased by 4.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
In a separate study published earlier this month, an international coalition of climate scientists noted that China’s coal, oil and natural gas emissions increased as the Covid-19 pandemic slowed. Although China stepped up its pollution control efforts in 2015 after bidding to host the Winter Olympics, the country’s air quality is still below World Health Organization standards.
LTN, December 24, 2023
EPA, November 1, 2023