Reduce Air Pollution: in China | Greenpeace East Asia

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.

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The latest updates

 

How do we translate China's policy shift on air pollution into progressive climate...

Blog entry by Li Shuo | 2013-11-19

Air pollution presents an opportunity to revisit China’s high emission growth path. During the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, delegates need to prepare ground for further action from China. Over the last year, air pollution has...

The government of China, like Poland, has a different view of what the people they...

Blog entry by Li Shuo | 2013-11-14

Coming from Beijing to attend the Warsaw climate summit, I expected to have temporary relief for my lungs. As I departed from Beijing’s international airport, the city’s air quality index (AQI) shot up 15 times higher than the World...

What needs to happen next on air pollution

Blog entry by Li Shuo | 2013-10-22 1 comment

“Golden Week” was anything but golden for Beijingers as the city was once again blanketed by heavy haze. The air quality index climbed above 400 during the October national holiday period, a level more than 10 times higher than the...

How China's air pollution worries led to a curb in coal use

Blog entry by Huang Wei | 2013-10-16 1 comment

The following is an excerpt from our latest e-magazine issue: " A long and winding road to clean air. " As an activist who has been working on the air pollution issue from the Greenpeace Beijing office for over two years, I’ve...

Green choices: a "Silent Spring" moment in China?

Blog entry by Li Shuo | 2013-10-03

September 12 might in later years turn out to be a milestone for China’s environment and growth pattern. On that day, the Chinese State Council released the long anticipated air pollution action plan , a comprehensive strategy...

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