2017 Chinese Air Quality Targets May Not Be Reached

By Mei Manuel, October 05, 2017 17:10 PM


Earlier this week, Chinese Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie shares that China may find it difficult to reach the set standards for air quality in China for 2017 while visiting four of North China's industrialized provinces.

This year, China pledged that it will cut down average concentrations of PM2.5 by more than 15% in the winter months for 28 northern cities. However, in a statement published on the environmental protection agency on Wednesday, Li remarked "Currently, the air pollution control work is challenging and complex" and that air quality has continued to fluctuate throughout the country. He also remarked that some areas even reported worsening air quality conditions despite efforts to improve it.

Li adds "The completion of the annual targets for air quality control faces huge difficulties."

In the capital region, for example, the reports indicate that air quality within the region's 13 cities have worsened as PM2.5 concentrations have increased to 5.4% compared to last year for the same period. The ministry has also reported that all of China's 338 cities have also reflected poor air quality for the first half of the year with at least 74.1% of days within the first half of the year experiencing clean air. By comparison, it is down from the original 76.7% recorded last year. 

In order to improve the fight against air pollution, Li called for action from local governments to bolster their enforcement of the country's current laws and standards for environmental protection.

Aside from the enforcement of new laws and the announcement of new environmental targets, China has also announced that they will close down a majority of its factories and enforce emission cuts in the next coming months to prevent the high smog levels which covered the Northern half of China earlier this year.

Since taking up the position in June, Li promised that he will lead a "protracted battle" to assist in cleaning up the nation and stopping pollution to take root.

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