Severe Air Pollution

Image | February 20, 2013

One of the most visible effects of coal use in China is severe air pollution, especially dangerous particles that cause heart and lung damage known as PM2.5. Public concern about poor air quality has forced the Chinese government to react by introducing relatively strict targets for reducing PM2.5 pollution in major cities by 40-50% by 2016, and 74 cities in China have begun disclosing PM2.5 levels since January 1st 2013. More stringent controls on coal use and public concerns about air pollution will be one of the major constraints on the growth of coal use in eastern provinces. Since these provinces are major importers of coal, this will have a capping effect on coal imports as well.