China’s air pollution

26 Feb


Due to China’s rapid industrialisation, severe dependency on coal, promotion of car ownership, and complete disregard for environmental laws, China suffers from relentless pollution problems. January 2013 showed record levels of pollution in Beijing, admitting an extra 30% more respiratory admissions to hospitals, and an increase in purchase of 40% of dust proof masks. Cars are one of the fundamental reasons for these issues. In 2012, 13 million cars were sold in China, and with the middle class expanding in China, cars have become the norm for these households. The government promotes the purchase of vehicles to keep the economy going, and in turn, a vicious circle has appeared, with residents unwilling to walk in the smog, causing them to drive when they previously would have walked. The Chinese government needs to learn from those in New York and London, and promote public transport, or Borris bikes, rather than driving miniscule distances.


Schools have often been ordered to cancel outdoor activities to reduce youth exposure to the pollution. In 2012, an estimated 8000 residents died prematurely from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xian due to the high levels of air pollution. However, these figures, and the recent record breaking pollution levels in Beijing has finally reached the Government, and there is potential for action to be taken.




2 Responses to “China’s air pollution”

  1. aa29g11 February 27, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    It makes perfect sense for the Chinese government to take action on this matter as soon as possible. Not only do they have pressure from NGO’s such as WHO and they are experiencing domestic pressure from citizens. Many adults as well as children have contracted respiratory illnesses and face an ongoing battle to try and alleviate any sort of danger that is present. However, they argue that they are unable to do this as the Government is not approaching the matter with the care and attention that it sees fit.

    The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, ran a front page editorial demanding: “Let us clearly view managing environmental pollution with a sense of urgency.” This clearly states that there is an urgent if not immediate need for pollution control.

  2. ljp11g11 March 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    The Chinese government has released plans to cut gas emissions, setting a target of reducing air pollution by at least 5% from 2011-2015. What’s more they have pledged to reduce sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide by 10 and 7%. The main aim of this plan is to protect people’s health and the environment and according to one member of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, “the starting point of the plan is to improve air quality, an issue directly related to and most concerned by people”. The way in which they will try and reduce air pollution is through better controls over industrial waste treatment and vehicle emissions, as well as implementing efficient public transport systems in order to decrease car use, and banning high-emission vehicles. This plan shows that although there are still dangerous levels of pollution in China, they recognise that this cannot continue and are taking action to rectify it.

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