The Solutions to Air Pollution in China | Greenpeace East Asia

The Solutions to Air Pollution

Standard Page - 2011-06-23
The solutions to air pollution are straightforward but they require action: quit coal, establish clear, strict air quality standards and ensure that cities which fail to meet national air quality targets provide plans stating when and how they will do so.


The solutions to air pollution are straightforward but they require action: quit coal, establish clear, strict air quality standards and ensure that cities which fail to meet national air quality targets provide plans stating when and how they will do so. 

The most basic solution for air pollution is to end its root causes: quit coal and move away from fossil fuels, replacing them with clean, renewable energy.

In the short-term, there are many intermediate solutions for air pollution. However, all of these solutions require immediate action.

  • Rapidly accelerate the transition away from coal and toward clean energy sources, like solar and wind.
  • Tighten controls for power plant emissions.
  • Take air quality into consideration when conducting environmental assessments for major projects; for example, flyovers and highways should be far away from residential areas.

Our reports also include more detailed recommendations for policy changes in China, such as:

  • National and regional air quality targets should continue the ambition shown in the first five-year phase of China’s Action Plan for Air Pollution Prevention and Control.
  • Cities that fail to meet the national air quality target should be required to provide plans stating when and how they will do so, in accordance with China’s 2016 Air Quality Protection Law.
  • Green bonds should be directed toward clean energy projects and should not fund polluting coal.
  • Emissions monitoring system can be expanded to include small factories.
  • Ensure that renewable energy is prioritized in the grid.