Reduce Air Pollution

Air pollution is a severe problem – one that has serious impacts on our health and our economy. According to a recent World Health Organization study, nine out of ten of people worldwide breath polluted air. Toxic air pollution particles lodge themselves deep in our lungs and enter our bloodstreams – with serious health effects.

Of particular concern is PM2.5 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm) air pollution. In 2017, average PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guidelines by nearly sixfold, and by almost fourfold in Shanghai. In the 338 cities for which monitoring data is available, average PM2.5 concentrations amounted to 4.3 times the WHO guideline. This means higher health risks to the cardiovascular system, cerebrovascular system and an increase in the probability of cancer and premature death.

Ozone (03) is also a major concern in China. Levels of this invisible particule, which causes lung damage, symptoms in asthma patients, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, are on the rise. Average ozone exposure in China rose 17% between 2014 and 2017, an increase which caused an estimated 12,000 premature deaths per year.

The good news is that China’s massive shift from coal power to renewable energy is already underway – and is key to ensuring further air quality improvements.

Greenpeace is one of the leading NGOs working on campaigns to reduce sources of air pollution in China.

Read more on air pollution in China:

 

The latest updates

 

China’s ‘airmageddon’ could cause over 250,000 premature deaths

Press release | 2015-02-05 at 10:43

4 February 2015, Beijing - Over a quarter of a million people in some of China’s major cities could have their lives cut short because of high levels of air pollution, unless authorities get to grip with the country’s smog crisis, a new study warns.

Clean air doesn't come to those who wait

Blog entry by Zhang Kai | 2015-01-22

"One thing that fascinated and shocked me the most was the fact that even on smoggy days, people still lived their lives as usual," said Chinese film director Jia Zhangke last week as the air outside in Beijing was a thick, soupy grey.

Chinese director Jia Zhangke challenges end to air pollution in new short film

Press release | 2015-01-22 at 12:00

Beijing, 22 January 2015 -  One of China’s most celebrated filmmakers, Jia Zhangke, today released a short film commissioned by Greenpeace East Asia tackling the health effects of air pollution on Chinese families. The film challenges China to...

Coal-to-gas project investigation report

Publication | 2014-11-24 at 14:14

In an effort to deal with air pollution and make up for insufficient natural gas supplies in the east, China has been pushing a coal-to-gas program that has been fraught with debate because of the pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that...

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